Tag Archives: family

Gobble Gobble


Last year I counted off a whole mess of things I was grateful for . This year, as you can tell by my lack of posting, I’m a little less motivated to put that list together. So I’ll keep it short and sweet. I am thankful. Period.
My life is far from perfect, but I am learning lessons and becoming better every day. I have work and love, however frustrating each of those things can be at times. My house may be messy, but my child is happy. For that, I give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with love and warmth. Thanks to all!


One, Twice, Three Times Vacation Part Three

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!!!


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!




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.




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

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.



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!!









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!





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).








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!





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.


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!!

Lazy Picture Post: Mini Vacation Edition

Josephine and I are on a little vacation at my mom and stepdad’s house in Mt. Shasta (Taylor is home guarding the house, so don’t try to break in, ok). My sister and nephew flew down from Washington so we’re having a good old cousin get together.
And on to the pictures.








Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’re not big, sappy, buy present type of Valentine’s Day peeps over here, but what I do like to do is make dinner at home, eat with my family, and tell each of them why I love them. Like Taylor says, I love them the same every day, but it’s just nice to give specific reasons to the ones we love as to why we, you know, love them and stuff.
After a nice round of “I love you because”, Taylor asked Josephine why she loves me. Her response, “Because I want some ice cream.” So, Happy Valentine’s Day from The Webstersons!

Now, go eat some ice cream.

Merry merry

Feeling oh so Merry (and a little bit sneezy and sick) on this brilliant Christmas day! Merry Christmas everyone! And now, an avalanche of Christmas photos.

A Christmas Eve swing.

A Christmas Eve “monster hunt” with Buddy.

A homemade Christmas Eve cake – my first ever completely from scratch:)

A Christmas Eve mediocre family portrait.

An angel in a Christmas Eve dress.

A Christmas Eve stocking from Grammy Jane.

Santa Claus came to visit.

Christmas Eve wore Taylor out.

The Christmas Chicken was here!!!!

Santa brought a Toodie doll!

Holiday aftermath.

A turkey and his turkey.

A very Bacheecho Christmas.

A little holiday cleaning…
Ok, ok, this wasn’t today. Our house is thrashed holiday style, but this is a good picture from a couple of days ago 🙂

Merry Christmas, and a happy and productive New Year!

Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for many things. In the interest of time (and saving my thumbs as I am once again phone blogging), here are my top ten:

10. I am thankful that I get to work with caring, thoughtful, intelligent, funny people. At a time when work loads are nearly unbearable and people are trending towards permanent cranky, my job is (albeit hectic) a place of joy for me. I am truly grateful for my colleagues. I get to work with amazing people doing good, helping work that is challenging, interesting and meaningful. If I have to work outside my home there is nowhere I would rather work.

9. I am grateful for domestic technological advances. Yes, I’m talking to you dishwasher, love of my life. Washing machine and dryer, you’re pretty amazing too! Central heating and air… brilliant!

8. I am thankful to have more than enough food. I can’t even imagine how it would feel to send my child to bed hungry. I know so many children out there don’t have enough. This I one of those things I need to be more thankful for on a daily basis.

7. I am thankful for my cat, Bacheecho. He is my little gentleman, and he doesn’t get nearly enough credit these days.


6. I am thankful for my health. I know I complain about not being healthy enough, but I have no chronic diseases, have had no overnight hospital stays. I take how healthy I am and the amazing things my body does for me every day for granted. So thank you to my body, for getting me up, allowing me to dance with my child, drive my car, see the world around me, and live.

5. I am grateful for my friends, new and old. I have so many people who care about me, who fill so many roles in my life. They are inspiring, good hearted, interesting, and they truly enrich my life.

4. I am grateful for Jane Young, my incredible mother-out-law. She is kind, fun, thoughtful, and helpful. She loves my child like her own, listens to me gripe, is there for us any time we need her, and is completely selfless. I also think she raised a pretty great child of her own, but that’s just me.

3. I am thankful for my family. My mom and stepdad, my dad and step mom, my sister. They have each helped shape me into the person I am today. I had a great childhood, rich with love and experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

2. I am thankful for my ridiculously crazy awesome country home. I still sit and am awestruck that we own this house, this piece of land. We are so lucky. I never dreamed I’d live in such a beautiful place. I thought owning land was going to be out of my reach. But here I am. I get to look out my front window at this in the morning

And I have an amazing yard for my child with animals, a playground and so much room. It stretches all the way back to those trees.

And the big red barn? Really?! It’s all ours. I am such a lucky woman.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for these two

They are my life, my family, the reason I am here. I am grateful to each of them individually for being such marvelous people, loving me so much, and bringing joy to my heart.

Who knew 9 years ago, when I first started dating this guy Taylor, that this would be where we ended up. With our tiny person with the big personality, in our country home, having weathered some truly heartbreaking times, loving and living life, creating memories, being a family. I am so very blessed. CHEERS!


In my thoughts………..

This week it will be five years since my stepmother was killed in a car accident.  This tragedy was immense in my life.  When I received the call from my dad that she had been killed I thought he was joking.  I can still very much remember how the news hit my entire body.  I can vividly remember the quesadilla I had just made that was sitting on the counter.  I couldn’t stop thinking about that quesadilla.  It was like my mind couldn’t process the information so just kept defaulting back to the stupid food.  As the reality of the situation presented itself over the next few days, it felt like I was in some kind of surreal, hazy nightmare.  The first day I woke up at my dads house after the accident I remember thinking, “Oh my god, this isn’t going away.  This is real.”  It was terrifying.  And very true.  My dad and Mo were a pair, and lived their lives very happily together.  They got each other in a way that most people didn’t get them.  They were passionate, adventurous, and strange in a way that made sense to them.  I feel intensely sad when I think about my dad living without her, though I know he is so grateful for the time that they were able to spend together.  That kind of loss of a partner is unimaginable to me.  When I watch my dad with Josephine I can’t help but think of how much fun Mo would have had.  And I can’t help but think of her daughters, and how they will feel and do feel as they have children, get married, experience joys and struggles without the support of their mom.

Mo’s death was the beginning in a slough of death and loss in mine and Taylor’s lives.  Over the past five years so many of our friends and loved ones have died, almost like a cruel joke.  It seems like we would just catch our breath from one loss, only to be hit over the head with another.  We have lost my aunt, three of Taylor’s grandparents,Taylor’s father (when I was newly pregnant with Josephine), and two of my cousins, along with various friends and coworkers. 

The other day I drove past a cemetery that I have been to numerous times, and I thought, “Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been there.”  It felt like a lifetime, actually.  In reality, I was at that cemetery twice this year, most recently in March, when one of my longtime employees lost her battle with cancer.  How that seems like a lifetime ago is beyond me.  I think I feel safe if we go six months without a death. 

Last week I got an email from Mo’s sister telling me that my dad had been in a car accident and that he was at her house.  He was driving to my house to visit on Highway 50, the same highway that Mo died on five years ago.  My dad was a couple of hours late getting to our house, which worried me (particularly since I knew he was taking Highway 50, which I try to avoid at all costs), but I tried to put it out of my mind.  My dad sometimes stops at friends houses pushing his visit back, or decides to take a change of path at the last minute.  When I opened my email I had the familiar feeling of being hit by bricks – the wind knocked out of me, my skin getting tight and hot, my breath slowing down to a snails pace – that I have gotten anytime we get the call that someone died unexpectedly.  My mind screamed.  This was all in the .02 seconds it took me to read further that he was alive, but badly bruised and hurt.  My dad is really lucky to be alive.  His car veered off the road and he was airborne for quite a while as he went down the side of a hill, ping ponging off of trees until his car crashed into a tree about 250 feet down the hill.  He had to crawl up the hill back to the road and flag down a car, bleeding, bruised, with a sprained ankle.  Apparently his front wheel was pushed inside the drivers side of the car.  It could have easily pinned his foot in, causing him to be trapped down a ravine, without a line of sight to the road.  I shudder to think if this would have happened. 

I felt jolted by this accident in a way that I didn’t expect.  Early fall is always a little rough for me with death anniversaries abounding, particularly Mo’s, that started this trend, if that’s what you can call it.  This year, however, the dull feeling seems to be a little worse than usual.  I can’t pretend that bad things don’t happen and that the people around me are going to be safe.  I know that is untrue.  I know I can’t protect my daughter from feeling loss and sadness in the future.  I just want her to not have to feel that yet.  I am not ready for another tragedy.  I very much want and need a break.

My dad’s accident felt like a warning to me.  Don’t get too comfortable, remember that life is fleeting, remember what’s important.  I am guilty of worrying too much about things that don’t really matter in life in the long run.  I stress myself out over the lawn not being mowed, the dishes being clean at the end of the night, work that I need to get done tomorrow, next week, by the end of the year.  Although I know that this sounds counter productive for a trying not to be lazy person like myself, but I need to remember to slow down.  Take a deep breath and enjoy the here and now.  Let things go and forgive.  Live intentionally and claim my happiness.  Make the most of my time and really, truly love the people I am surrounded by.  And so in loving memory…for Mo, Ed, Jeanne, Emmett, Charlie and all the rest.  We miss you so, but try to live to the fullest in your memory. 

Dad and Mo, October, 2006

Family ties

I just returned from visiting my sister in Washington. She had a baby boy back in early June. He was premature, and born at 2 pounds, 10 ounces. A tiny little thing. Because of his smallness and susceptibility to sickness – in addition to my sister adjusting to being a mother and working her ass off to exclusively breastfeed her son (she is my hero!) – it just now became a good time to visit and meet my new Nephew.
Having a child is, as everyone will tell you, life changing. Things shift in ways you can be empathetic to, but never fully understand until the child is yours. People love to bitch and moan about all kinds of things when it comes to parenthood, but what I don’t think is talked about a lot is how uncertain and confusing things can be. There is joy in figuring out how to respond to your unique child, however, before you reach that point, things can get a little (or a lot) dreary. I have been watching my sister go through these uncertainties (from afar) for the last few months. She had such a difficult, different situation than I had. Her son was born via emergency c-section, and lived in the NICU for three weeks before she was able to bring him home (when he was just under four pounds). For so many reasons, she needed to listen to doctors, nurses, and specialists for the health of her tiny, tiny baby. As he grows and catches up (he is a bustling 10 pounds now!), she has had to move to trusting her own instincts. Although I know that she feels thrown for a loop at times, I watch her in awe. She is doing an amazing job (did I mention how hard she worked to breastfeed her child, because DAMN!, I am a huge breastfeeding advocate, and I am not sure I would have kept it up).

For me, although I had an ideal home birth (unlike my sisters experience) and a healthy, calm child, I was still wracked with uncertainties. Is my child getting enough breast milk?, Is she rested enough?, Am I holding her too much or not enough?, Am I supposed to feel trapped under my child because she wants to eat every 30 minutes?, Shouldn’t I love every single second?, Oh my god, my child is growing so fast, how can time be slipping away from me?! In the thick of things, I remember calling my sister and having her tell me things like, “I think that sounds pretty normal”, which was totally and completely helpful at the time. I hope I have been half as helpful to her.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I know this to be true. My own child is enriched and cared for by so many people other than Taylor and myself who are helping to support her on her journey through life. I have come to rely on not only Taylor, but my mom, my mother in law, my sister, my midwife, my mother friends with similar mothering outlooks, for advice, camaraderie, and support. I also relied heavily on a few close childless friends who may not have had advice, but could at least spend time with me (however unexciting it may have been for them) in the first beautiful but sometimes lonely first year. I feel that in the early months of new motherhood you need that village most of all. It has been darn near unbearable to watch my sister go through the stress, worry, and joy that she has experienced this summer from two states away. My mom was able to come up and be a support a few times this summer, but I know it hasn’t been enough. If I lived closer (even a few hours away) a weekend visit would be no problem. I could come over, clean the house, cook some food, talk to my sister about sleep patterns, poop, baby smiles, and really help her out. I am grateful that I even was able to fly up and visit now, as I know some people who are separated by miles cannot financially afford to do that. I am also grateful that my sister has a supportive, patient husband to lean on, and good, kind friends to come by and hold the baby and socialize for a while. But I am also sad. I understand why people move away from family (my sister, mom and step dad, dad and I all live in different places, varying from 4 to 16 hour driving distances), but now more than ever, I understand why being close is so beneficial. Because, really, who better than your sister to talk you through? Or to talk about baby poo? Oh, and you guys… My nephew is the cutest baby boy to ever exist. Like seriously.