A Whole Year of Everett



New (March) Resolutions

IMG_0942Earlier this year I had an idea I really liked of doing a monthly goal for 2017 (after all, it’s the year I turn 30) and finally got them all nailed down this month while I was at my family’s cabin (something about being away from cell phone service makes me all introspective). And even though some inner sense of perfectionism says that March is too late to officially start a yearly project, I’m actually feeling excited about what I figured out. Hopefully some good long term habits will come from some of these as well…we shall see.

January: Figure out my yearly reading goals and read a lot.

February: Take it easy (aka I kinda forgot February).

March: Plant a garden.

April: Dessert only on weekends.

May: Send mail, at least one letter a week.

June: Practice yoga every day.

July: Eat more fruits and vegetables and STAY UNDER the grocery budget.

August: Go on adventures with the boys two or more days a week and invite friends.

September: Take a picture with the real camera once a day.

October: Read all the general conference talks.

November: Write something every day.

December: Make an activities advent and do it with the boys.

Three (and three months)

This birthday was kind of a rough transition. And when I went back through old footage to compile it into my yearly birthday video, I almost cried at how sweet and babyish newly two year old Julian was. Now after a few months to adjust, there are some things about having a three year old that are just so dang awesome and funny and better than ever before, once I have learned a few coping strategies to deal with the defiance and just all around stinkerness he’s got going on.

IMG_1036IMG_1037We had a party for him at a bowling alley with a few little friends and as a bonus, Grandma and Grandpa Ryser were in town. He was spoiled with generous gifts from both sets of grandparents who know just how to please him (cars, cars, talking cars.) He started saying “now I’m three, I used to be J.” Still a little confused about numbers vs letters, but I love seeing how his mind works.

Some recent favorite conversations with him that I wrote down:

(talking with grandma about her watch)

Grandma: Must be nice to be a kid and just live in the moment.

Julian: No! I don’t live in the moment, I live in Kansas City!

(After I tried on a very poofy slip for a wedding dress my mom was making)

Julian: Is mama a princess?

(Out of the blue about a month after we watched The Lion King)

Julian: I was just thinking about Scarf, you know, that guy from the tiger movie.

(During one of many recent pre-potty training conversations about how bodily functions work.)

Me: What happens when you drink water?

Julian: Pee comes out!

Me: And what about if you drink juice?

Julian: A school bus comes out!

(Overhearing him showing a new friend around our house. Side note, he is obsessed with smoke alarms lately and wants to talk about them all the time.)

Julian: …here, look, it’s our smoke alarm! and here is my cozy bed!…

(While we were playing with play dough)

Julian: “I’m happy for you’re my friend mama.”


Aww! I’m happy about that too buddy.


A Day in The Life

515 am: Everett is crying…again. This is not a typical night and lately he has usually been sleeping until around 6. Feed him and put him back down and cross my fingers for some more sleep

730 am: It worked, and Everett is actually still sleeping. Julian is talking in his bed, though, so it’s time to wake up for real.

745 am: Warm up some pancakes for Julian. Everett wakes up while Julian is eating, so I go feed him then bring him out to the kitchen too. Decide that I really want eggs benedict for breakfast but feel too ridiculous making hollandaise sauce for one.img_0951

825 am: Wrangle Julian into his clothes. Almost everything is a battle with him lately, especially changing clothes for some reason. Do as Daniel Tiger’s mom does and take a deep breath and count to four.

850 am: Lug the sink we are selling on craigslist from the back patio to the front door. Continue debating what to eat for breakfast and finally decide to poach an egg and eat it on a toasted English muffin spread with boursin cheese. It’s my first time poaching an egg so I am very pleased when it turns out.

900 am: The guy from craigslist shows up right on time and buys the sink. I tell Julian that it’s time to get in the car since lately he likes to argue with me about getting in the car for at least ten minutes before actually doing it.

910 am: Everett is clean and dressed. I go buckle him in the car while Julian finally decides he wants his red shoes after all (he has been trying to find the black ones for the past ten minutes.) Frantically shove food and diapers and library books in my purse and hope for the best.

928 am: Somehow we still haven’t left the house–I have no idea how getting in the car can take a full 30 minutes sometimes but I am here to attest that it does.

935 am: Luckily we live really close to the library, so we’re just a few minutes late for story time. Julian pretends not to like it for the first couple minutes but then warms up and walks right up to the front and starts having a conversation with the librarian.

950 am: Stop in the library bathroom to change Julian’s diaper, then let him check out a book just so he can put it in the return slot.

1015 am: Arrive at the church for our weekly playgroup to let the kids run around the gym and talk with other moms. There are a ton of people there today so it feels like a party. Towards the end, the kids start blasting the Moana soundtrack and dancing around. Julian leaves with sweaty hair and pink cheeks.

img_10921145 am: Back in the car, and Everett is not happy about missing his morning nap. We hurry home so I can feed and put him down.

1230 pm: I make Julian some mac and cheese for lunch and cut up an apple. We snack while I read him the Lego book he picked out at the library. It’s a book full of ideas of things to build with Legos and he asks me to name every mini figure on every page- which luckily I somewhat enjoy since the book is 190 pages long.

130 pm: It’s a pretty nice day, so Julian goes and plays in our screened in porch while I clean up the kitchen.

200 pm: Julian pretty much entirely gave up napping when we took his Paci away a couple weeks ago, but we both still need a little break in the middle of the day (whether he knows it or not.) He is melting down at really tiny things now, so I bring him into his room for quiet time. He screams for about five minutes, then switches to singing.

210 pm: I have been wearing workout clothes, hoping that somehow I would squeeze in a workout, but it’s time to call it now and hop in the shower.

215 pm: Either the scream-singing or just enough rest wakes Everett up. My blissful fifteen childless minutes is over. I change him, snuggle him, then set him up in his high chair with some blueberries and pancakes to feed himself while I eat some leftover massaman curry from the night before. I change the laundry and add some clean clothes to the Everest on the couch.

245 pm:  Everett plays with some toys on the living room floor while I listen to my audiobook and start folding some laundry/check Instagram. I grab my laptop and start doing a little work on my sunday-school lesson, then call the company that is installing a fireplace in our house and try to find a babysitter. Somewhere in there Everett gets fussy again, so I put him down for another nap

330 pm: “Quiet” time is over. Julian has a drinkable yogurt for a snack and helps me unload the dishwasher. He is very interested in doing dishes lately and I am taking full advantage because I know it won’t last forever.

410 pm: Everett wakes up again and we hang out in Julian’s room. He usually dumps all the bins of toys during his quiet time so I try really hard to stay patient and get him to help me clean up.  I lay on the floor and Julian starts body slamming me, which makes Everett crack up and try to join in by leaning his head on me.

500 pm: Ted gets home! Pretty early too, but he has his big yearly test tomorrow, so after saying hi he goes to his office right away to start studying.

515 pm: I get coats on the boys and we head to the park around the corner from our house. It makes me endlessly happy to have a park so close, and it’s a good one too. It’s pretty warm for February, but windier than I expected, so the park is pretty much deserted. Another mom with two boys stops at our park on their way home from swimming lessons and Julian plays with them for a while.

630 pm: Minor meltdown from Julian on the walk home, pretty much the norm these days. Only bright side is I’m getting better at shrugging them off.  We’re having taco salad for dinner tonight and I start prepping. I fry up some corn tortillas, sautée tofu and some rotisserie chicken with taco spices, shred lettuce and cheese, and make mango guacamole.

720 pm: Dinner is almost ready, but Everett is kind of freaking out so I call Ted in for back up. He tries to feed Everett but he is pretty inconsolable, so Ted decides to put him to bed.

730 pm: Taco salad for Ted and I, shredded chicken and guacamole for Julian. We eat and Julian tells Ted all about the park.

750 pm: Ted goes to our room to study and Julian helps me clean up dinner.

820 pm: Dishes all pretty much done (because I know if I don’t do them now, Ted will do them and I will feel guilty about him not getting to study) and I have to hurry to get Julian down to bed which he really doesn’t appreciate. He cries while I wrestle him into pajamas, and screams when I finish up brushing his teeth, but lets me hug and kiss him and settles down pretty much right away after I leave the room.

835 pm: Second month of a new book club, discussing Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson. It’s a fun book club because we are a wide variety of readers with vastly different tastes and nobody gets too offended when someone has a different opinion of the book than they do. The first month we read Five Days At Memorial, a nonfiction account of a hospital during hurricane Katrina, and basically the opposite of the cheesy “proper romance” we read this month.

1245 am: Definitely didn’t mean to stay out so late, but it was too hard to stop talking and eating scones and drinking tea. Fall into bed and go to sleep.




Personality Quizzes

img_0458Every once in a while I get really obsessed with taking personality tests. And then I have to remind myself that they are just for fun because I am definitely prone to overanalyzing them. (what personality type is that? (; ) Here are some of my results.

Meyer’s Briggs/16 personalities – I honestly can’t tell how these are any different from each other, but I’ve taken each of them multiple times with slightly different results. I have narrowed it down and am pretty sure I am either an ISFP or ISFJ.

Enneagram- I keep hearing about this and just got a book about it. I think mostly only Catholics know about this one? Anyway, it’s pretty interesting, and I am a definite type 6-The Questioner.

The Color Code-This is the first one I ever heard about and it drove me so crazy because I didn’t really fit any of the types-always between a blue and a white, but I didn’t want to be a white.

Pottermore-The most fun for sure. I am a Ravenclaw/Pukwudgie, and my Patronus is a Chestnut Mare. (Ted took the test and got a pheasant lol.)

In other news, it’s the last day of the month! That means that we sign on our house tomorrow!!!!!, and also that this project is almost over. I think I did pretty good, just missing a couple days between the rough election and being out of town. I’m not as anxious for it to be over as I thought I would be, and actually have a couple ideas I never got to. But I must say it will be nice on those days when I haven’t written anything until late at night and then feel guilty until I write. Thanks to anyone who read it all!


Go to bed Elise

Why is it that I can’t wait for bed all day, and then the second the boys go to sleep I am ready to party all night long and barely ever get to bed before midnight.

Anyway, I am still feeling a need to find some little way to help make our country kinder and more inclusive. Since that has been on my mind a lot, this sweet commercial really got to me.


One Year Ago

IMG_0038I was looking at some pictures from about a year ago, and remembering this crazy storm that hit us in Spokane just about a year ago.

I was playing on the floor with Julian in his room when we started hearing the wind getting louder and louder outside and then all of a sudden the power went out. It was around 3:00 in the afternoon, but in Spokane in November, that means the sun is almost completely set already. We hunkered down for a few hours and had fun lighting candles and burrowing under blankets and watching a movie I had downloaded on my laptop. I didn’t realize anywhere near the extent of the damage until Ted got home and told me how many trees were knocked down on top of houses and power lines and in the middle of the streets. IMG_0695IMG_0761

Here’s Julian’s first date when we were at the mall warming up with some friends.


We heard through some friends from church that some areas had their power go out and come right back on. So when we went to bed that night, we assumed it would be back on in the middle of the night sometime. Instead, we woke up to Julian crying in his bed and realized how cold the house had gotten. I bundled him up in his snowsuit and under a bunch of blankets, but it was pretty miserable.

The next morning, Ted had to go to work like usual, and I was planning on babysitting for a friend at their very very cold house. We were all bundled up and I got all the kids to play a lap running game to try and warm us up, but it was still see-your-breath kind of cold. Plus, no way to cook food for any of the kids, so I kept staving off their hunger with trail mix and granola bars.

After my friend got back, I decided to drive around a little bit to let us thaw out and charge my phone. Also, I was a little curious about the damage the storm had done, and it was really kind of terrifying and amazing to see the wreckage. We hit up Fred Meyer and it looked like it had been looted, and only half the power was on.

By that point we were starting to realize that this wasn’t a quick fix kind of thing. Luckily, some friends who had gotten their power back offered to take us in that night so Julian didn’t have to freeze again. And that’s basically how we spent the next few days-crashing with different friends, going between their houses and the YMCA where I took hot showers, only darting into our cold, smelly (from the tragic amounts of food that had gone bad and dishes we couldn’t do) apartment to grab fresh clothes or supplies.

Then all the houses across the street from us got their power back…that was some nice salt in the wound. We were invited to a Friendsgiving with some of Ted’s co-residents and I was signed up to bring like three dishes, which I cooked by completely taking over one of our nice friends’ kitchens. On our way back from the dinner, we stopped by our place out of hopeful curiosity, and…the porch light was on. That was one of the most wonderful sights I have ever seen. The whole experience made me so grateful for heaters and refrigerators and dishwashers, but even more grateful for kind neighbors and generous friends. IMG_0684