Update! (Via lazy picture post of course)

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Want an update? I’m struggling a bit (a lot) with most everything: work is hard and crazy, my car is mostly broken and I need another one, I am constantly feeling like I am disappointing most of the people I know, my house needs cleaning and I’m broke. There.
Also, my daughter is hilarious, I own a beautiful house and I do have a lot of people who care about me. And my health. I have that too. And I’m not starving, I like my job despite it’s hardness, and I have Taylor around.
So there it is. The conflicts that are my woe is me attitude and the blessings that I have in my life. Blah.
I am currently on a train by myself headed to the wedding of two wonderful beautiful people. I was and still am conflicted over whether or not I should have come on this trip. What with my car problems, dirty house and a child who really just wants me and cried like the dickens as I drove away.
But here I am. Ready to see a slough of high school friends (my two best from high school included). Should I be here? Who knows. Now to shake this gloomy perspective before I get there.

And so as not to leave you with a sour bad mood taste in your mouth, I present to you my life in pictures, since I have no energy to write up the stories. I’m hoping a dredge though my photos will brighten my mood. Here goes…

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Playing with dead lizards

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Jewel face

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Family photo fun

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Taylor cooks with a hammer

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Lady weekend in Lake Tahoe (I know, stop complaining, right?)

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All dressed up to feed the baby

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Flute Queen saves the day!

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Matching stripes with Uncle Spency

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And my heart melted

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Summer rain

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Just a little Grandaddy reunion show

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Miss Lionheart

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Spoiled!

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Overnight getaway in San Francisco with Taylor for another Grandaddy reunion show and fun (yep, I’m a jerk for being so crabby)

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First day of preschool?! What?! (and yes, I cried a little on my drive to work)

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Found a frog!

Ok, so now I feel a little better (if not more guilty for being so ungrateful). So thanks for letting me vent, Internet. I promise I’ll come back in a better mood. Maybe.

One, Twice, Three Times Vacation Part Three

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Sooooo, want my list of excuses as to what is taking me so long to write about the last part of our big family vacation? No? Well, I’m excusing myself anyways. Ummmm, I started working more hours a week, my phone is messed up, making it difficult and annoying to type stories, I have been cleaning my house instead of blogging (yeah right), I’m lazy (don’t you know?). Yeah, all of that (minus the lie about cleaning my house. Not happening).

So here it is… Part Three: Family Fourth in Mount Shasta!

We woke up in Redding and drove on up the hill to beautiful Mount Shasta City. We were greeted by my lovely family: my mom, stepdad, cousin Caitrin, sister Maya, brother in law Kevin, and most importantly, my crazy amazing nephew Emmett!!!

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We jumped right into play time and really had an amazing time. It was so much fun to watch Josephine with her cousin. He’s a year old now and is getting so mobile. His little words are starting to form, and he’s a curious one. Josephine and Emmett played well, other than some sharing mishaps where my “angel” decided it was ok to push and hit. Not gonna happen.

My mom has the perfect setup for kids of all ages, and always seems to know exactly what toys to put out for maximum playtime fun! Way to go Grandma Carol!

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When Fourth of July hit we were ready to go with our red, white and blue clothes. First up on the patriotic docket was walking down the driveway and watching the Mount Shasta race participants run by the house. We marveled at their fitness while we dreamed of the homemade ice cream sandwiches waiting in the freezer.

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Josephine and I are in training for next year. I think we’ll win it, don’t you?

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We hung around until the not so serious runners passed the house, like this guy in the American flag suit. He was having people sign his suit, which I’m pretty sure was just a ploy to flirt with my 16 year old cousin, but whatever.
Next we hit up the parade. Now, maybe I’ve just lived in Oakdale too long where parades consist of about one million horses, some dancing kids and a few clowns, but the Mount Shasta parade was loud and just one car after another. Kind of a let down. Next year I’ll skip it. One car did have people handing out American flags, so it wasn’t a total bust.

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We met up with our friends Heaven and Sunny, who just happened to be in Shasta at the same time we were. We all headed back to the house for play time, goofing around, tractor rides, and finally, those ice cream sandwiches. Yum!!

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After eating and relaxing we moseyed on over to the neighbors for some fireworks. Boom, bang, crackle. Josephine loved the sparklers, and the popcorn the neighbors served her! Such a nice community my parents live in. Everyone was so friendly!

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Our vacation continued with lake fun. My mom took Josephine kayaking, we all swam around, and we had a wonderful, family filled fun. I love lakes and Josephine loves swimming. What a beautiful lake to swim in, and just five minutes from Grandma and Grandpas house. Perfect! Watching my mom and Josephine kayak was awesome. She’s been itching to get that kid on a kayak since she was born, and it was finally time. Of course, I had to get in on the kayak action too. Now I want a kayak of my very own. Anyone want to give me one?? (just kidding, unless you want to give me a kayak for reals, because I totally will accept the gift).

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We had a lovely time. I feel really lucky that my parents live in such a beautiful area. We get to vacation in style and comfort. Couldn’t ask for more! Before we left we hit up the fish hatchery to feed the fishies, an instant hit in a toddlers book!

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And so our trip ended, with kisses from Grandma and sweet memories of Josephine and Emmett getting their first real play time in. The first of many. I can’t wait for Fourth of Julys to come. We are a lucky family.

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Our drive home was a quick four hours and blissfully uneventful. As always, coming home is a treat, since our home is so beautiful, and was especially nice since our neighbor mowed our lawn while we were gone. Score!

Festivals, forests and fireworks. This family vacation thing is definitely the way to go! I like my little family. Taylor and I have always vacationed like pros together, and our kid definitely inherited the Websterson vacation style! Go team!

And so it ends, the longest running triple post (and possibly the most photo laden) on these here internets. I’m feeling relieved, and ready for some posts about other things. Like about how I’m lazy and have let some thistles (dun dun DUN!) flower (I know, I know, after I worked so hard to rid our property of them). Happy summer!!

Once, Twice, Three Times Vacation Part Two

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I figured I better get to work on this post, since I am about to leave on a lady trip to Tahoe sans J and Tay (!) tomorrow, and I haven’t even finished posting about this here vacation. So here goes…

Our triple vacation kept on keepin’ on as we left the magnificent Kate Wolf Music Festival and we headed north on Highway 101. Our destination was to get to my mom’s house in Mount Shasta by Monday early afternoon, which gave us a little over a day to make the five or six hour drive.

We had no real plans other than driving up through The Avenue of the Giants just off of Highway 101. We drove up and hopped off the freeway to start what can only be described as a (and I’m sure I’m going to use this word in this post waaaay to much) magical magical adventure.

As soon as we drove into the trees I knew we’d made the right choice to take the extra day to do this. I have been to the big trees in Calaveras, but the combo of damp, mist, green and giant trees is just beyond compare. Magical.

Our first stop was the Drive Through Tree that our truck barely squeezed through!
We didn’t get a picture of the truck going though because we all wanted to be in the car while it drove through, but we did take these fun photos walking through the tree.

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Next up was an amazing redwood tree playhouse that Josephine wanted to stay in aaaaaallllll day. We had to drag her away from her house. It was pretty neat. How fun would it be to have one of these in your backyard??

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We meandered through the redwoods, laughing and amazing and basking in the magic magicalness of the magical redwood forest.

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And then we frolicked. We pretended to dance with fairies. Hugged giant trees. Felt the moss. Tromped around. It was (here it is again…), magical.

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Next we headed up to Eureka to eat. We magically (!) stumbled across the most amazing family style restaurant called The Samoa Cookhouse. It was perfect luck, as there was no menu, they served home made delicious food (menu for lunch: minestrone soup, fresh baked bread, salad, bean salad, corn, roasted red potatoes, baked beans, RIBS!, and apple pie), and served you all you could eat. Yum yum yum!
Right outside was a Maritime Museum, which was closed, but a good playground.

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All in all a great pit stop!

We drove on (while the little miss napped contently) through the mountains east towards Redding. We still weren’t sure where we would stop. We made it to Redding, and despite being just an hour from my moms, we stopped for the night. Partly because upon entering Redding we had a not so pretty family style meltdown, which was only resolved by a stop at the most ghetto family fun center arcade thing I have ever seen. Josephine cried and whined, Taylor raged around a bit, and I may or may not have yelled, shed a tear or two and huffed around while Taylor “won” Josephine a stuffed tiger from the claw machine. I say “won” because the teenager who worked there just gave it to him when he asked her if he could please just buy the cheap tiger after he spent ten bucks trying unsuccessfully to claw grab it.

We all calmed down, got another hotel room, went swimming at the pool, and just chilled the eff out. It was quite nice.

The next morning, meltdown free and relaxed, we drove up the hill to Mount Shasta. And there will begin chapter three of….. The Epic Family Vacation Chronicles That Are Taking Me Forever And Ever To Write! Thanks for hanging in there, buddies.

Once, Twice, Three Times Vacation: Part 1

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As you may have been able to tell by my blogging absence (as I’m sure you were all saddened by my silence over here, right?), we have just returned from a triple threat vacation. We packed three vacations into one in a bit over a week, and boy, did we have a time! We hit up the Kate Wolf Music Festival in Northern California where Taylor’s band, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit played Friday and Saturday night, then we drove up highway 101 through the Redwood Forest otherwise known as the Avenue of the Giants, and finally we drove on over to Mt. Shasta for Fourth of July with my family. What an adventure! So much that I will be breaking this into three parts so as not to bore you to tears.
Part one: Kate Wolf
We left last Thursday evening to get a head start and stayed at a hotel in Ukiah. You have never seen anyone so excited as Josephine to sleep in a hotel. She was STOKED! for lack of a better extreme excitement to the brink of nauseating joyful explosion word.
We arrived at the festival the next morning and set up camp.

And now a word on potty training training while camping… Wow. I didn’t even realize we were doing this until it was done. Remember to take bags to dispose of the number twos. It actually went well, but for your sake, that slice of advice, plus this picture, is all.

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Josephine is a professional camper, and looooooves having all her (our) friends around. She danced, played in the dirt, swam in the creek, and made lots of new adult friends. She even got to meet kd lang while in line for dinner Saturday night (I said nothing to her, however Josephine thanked her for complimenting her on her butterfly face paint. She’s less socially awkward than me and she’s just friendly that way). Our friend/TGLSTO drummer, Aaron, brought his niece Mia, who was visiting from Japan, and Josephine just about died with love for her. Mia was very gracious with the constant, “Mia, play with me. Mia, Mia, Mia, come to creek to go swimming. Mia! Mia!! Mia!!!…MIA!!!!”.

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Our girl slept like a champ, even being super close to the main stage (artist camping was just behind and to the side of the biggest stage). She fell asleep to loud ass Leftover Salmon jam banding it up on Friday night. Saturday morning Josephine woke up early in the morning, looked at me and said, “Camping is easy, Mama.” then went back to sleep. That’s my girl. Sunday morning she was sleeping so soundly that we broke down camp and loaded up everything except the tent, her air mattress and her. Completely perfect!

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So, on to the reason we were there: the show.

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As I said before, TGLTSO played two shows, Friday afternoon on the main stage and Saturday night on another stage. It’s always so much fun to see people that I don’t know enjoying the music that this group of talented men work so hard on and put so much creative energy into.

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It was also nice to hear some songs off the new album and songs that have been reworked and I haven’t heard in a while. And of course, watching Josephine watch her daddy play is something special, although she gets a little demanding about what she wants on the set list. Burden of Sea Captains is her first request, and she won’t quit til it’s played. She’s quite persistent.

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waiting excitedly for daddy to play

I felt filled with joy and pride watching Taylor and his group of friends sharing their music with people. It was a good start to the festival!

By Saturday night we were all pretty dusty, and the boys put on a good show.

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By the end they had everyone up and dancing in front of the stage. Josephine stayed up late to party with everyone. At the end of the show it was getting pretty loud so I made her wear her eardrum protecting sound blocking earmuff things. She kept them on, but was not happy, telling me, “Mama, no! I like the sound!”

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Chris Doud

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Will Taylor

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Mr. Matt Cordano, who had a new baby boy just ten days before this show. We missed his wife and that sweet baby at the festival. Maybe next time 🙂

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Chandler Pratt, aka Uncle New Guy to Josephine. She refuses to let me reference him by his real name

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The amazing (and seriously badass) Aaron Burtch. He’s a good guy.

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And finally, Taylor Webster. One handsome, talented, wonderful man. And one hell of a bass player.

This picture of Taylor is a little blurry, but I love it because I know how in the moment he is in this picture. I wish I could be so present ever in life. It makes me smile. Taylor enjoyed himself, even though his back was out and he was in excruciating pain the entire darn time. He didn’t complain much, although I know it bummed him out. At least he was able to take advantage of a free massage. The whiskey in his jug helped a bit too.

And so part one of our vacation comes to a close. Festivaling is my favorite, and I’m glad we’ve gotten a couple in so far this summer. And that’s all for leg one, folks. Be sure to tune in soon, as I know you are waiting with bated breath for Part Two: The Redwood Forest!

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Pasture thoughts

Some things I learned while irrigating (by myself) for the first time last night (Taylor had a show out of town and we had a 6pm irrigation time):

1. My boots are cracked and leak water in. Poop water all in my toes. Yep.

2. Not a good idea to watch crime shows before going out to open gates in the dark at 11 pm.

3. I have a weed pulling problem, and can’t keep myself from stopping to pull weeds in wet boots, in the dark, in ankle high water at 11:00 at night. Help me.

4. We have the best neighbors. They were staying up on the lookout for four unfamiliar teenagers that were walking around the neighborhood (have no fear, ended up one of them was from up the street).

5. I should go sit outside at midnight more often. The stars. Oh, the stars. Pure beauty.

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Good Luck

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In true lazy fashion, I’m letting you all know you should go back Taylor’s band, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit on their kickstarter campaign with only six hours left in the campaign. So don’t delay!
I’m real excited to hear the finished product of the new album. This band is phenomenal. Songs that will touch your heart, top notch musicianship, good time feelin’ music, and I may be a little biased, but their bass player is incredibly handsome too.
But seriously, check out the campaign if you haven’t. And if you haven’t heard the band, go ahead and check them out here (that song was instrumental in my decision to move to Oakdale to be with a Taylor, by the way. It’s a sweet story, ask me about it sometime) or here. You won’t be sorry that you did. Promise.
And because I wasted a bit of time looking at YouTube videos you only probably have five hours to back their project and get in on the badass incentives. If I were you I’d back enough to get the live album, Kitchen Party. Nothing like some live Thrift Store. Nothing at all. So click here to become a backer. Sorry for the late notice!

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Magnificent Man, Fantastic Father!

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Just hours after Josephine’s birth

I want to take time today to share my appreciation for Josephine’s dad, Taylor Webster. I wasn’t sure how Taylor would deal with having a baby. I knew he’d work it out, but waking up early? Being on someone else’s schedule? Things not always going as planned? Not something I thought would come easy for him. I had only seen him hold two babies ever. I just wasn’t sure. I was, however, completely blown away.
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From the beginning it was like he had always been a father. He could calm Josephine down in ways I just couldn’t. That’s still true today (he takes all night wake ups now, because he can just talk Josephine through whatever she’s going through). He has a way of talking to our daughter and teaching her so that she picks things up really quickly. Their minds work in the same way, so he knows just how to teach her the way she needs to be taught. I mean, just look at this pair:

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Taylor has taught me a lot about being a parent. His support and consistency has made all the difference. There were times that he had ideas that I was reluctant to try, but in time I realized that they were amazing and made things so much better for our family. He’s always thinking! I found this quotation a while back that really spoke to me and rang true for how I feel about Taylor as a developing father:
“When a man is truly ‘present’ for the birth of his child and allows himself to be touched by the mystery unfolding before his eyes, he will have an unquestionable experience that can catapult him into the next phase of his development as a mature human being. His encounter with the power of birth…can connect him to his partner and his child in ways that sustain him for the rest of his life.” –John Franklin
Just read our birth story and you can get a glimpse into what I am trying (clumsily) to say.

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I know how much Josephine loves her Daddy, and it brings me so much joy to watch them together, learning, laughing, and having a grand old time! Just listening to them joke around from the other room is enough to make me cry with happiness. And watching them devise funny little plans, like hiding from me when I come home from work? Forget about it. Watching their bond as father and daughter has been a thing of beauty. As Josephine would say, he’s her best.

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Happy Father’s Day Taylor! What a dad you are! Thank you for everything you do for our family. We love you so much.

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And because I can’t help myself, this picture:

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😉