you capture: top 10 of 2011

Is it bad that I still have hundreds (or thousands) of photos from 2011 to go through and edit? I may get to it by 2018 at the rate I’m going. I loved going through my files looking for my favorites. Reminds me that there was much beauty in 2011, no matter how hard of a year it was! I couldn’t just pick ten, so bear with me.

My favorite photos of 2011:



Sending a message to Grandpa Barnhart.


Cyndee’s tribute:

Sending messages to Cyndee in heaven.


Deserted schoolhouse.


Drilling rig.



a girl's best friend.




i'll change the world someday







10,955 feet




linking up with


the hammer


Prompted by my daughter forgetting to cut her toenails before pointe class today.

Ave: MOM!!!! I HATE MY TOES! My big toe is fat and my other toenails like, fold over my toe.

Me: That’s what you get for being Norwegian.

Ave: I don’t WANT to be Norwegian. I can’t even bend my pinky toes. They just sit there.




My boys are working hard to bring safe drinking water to families in Africa.

Ashton’s Thrilling Drilling Campaign
Bridger’s Clean Water for Christmas Campaign

my girl

she’s a complete goofball,
she makes funny faces and can make anyone laugh,
she dances when she does everything,
and i mean anything… cleaning the litterbox, sweeping the floor, hugging me goodnight.
i giggle to myself when i catch her walking on her tippy toes,
she has been doing this since she was very young.



respect the shoes

The kids and I had just finished rocking our 5K, and then it was time to take Averie to dance. Not planning on leaving the vehicle, I quickly slipped on some shoes to run to town.

Averie looked at me, horrified. “MOTHER! You cannot wear that. RESPECT THE SHOES!”

her hero

My daughter came home last week and said she had a big project due for school — The Hero Project. She couldn’t tell me who she chose and it was “top secret” around these parts all week long as she printed photo after photo and typed and glued until late at night.

Now, she probably just wants to score some extra points with me or for me to buy her those neon jeans she’s been dying for, but OH MY HEART. So cute.

i think i will forgive her for calling me crazy.




My twins are raising money for charity: water, and would be so happy if you could help:
Ashton’s Thrilling Drilling Campaign
Bridger’s Clean Water for Christmas Campaign




**The kids are getting back into the groove of school and everything is going great! Other than the fact that 60% of our household has a sore throat right now. Dumb! Averie is just loving middle school, as I knew she would, being the social creature she is. The whole locker-thing is kicking her ass, though.

**These early mornings are not kind to me. I may or not text my husband every day after the get-on-the-bus rush, “MORNINGS CAN BITE ME”. Coffee makes them a little more bearable.

**I’m taking the kids to a benefit concert in Minot this weekend, put on by The Black Eyed Peas. I am so, so excited to stare at Josh Duhamel see Ashton’s face when the band comes on stage. He kind of idolizes Will.I.Am and has some sweet white-boy moves and rap skillz.

**I have never watched the show, Toddlers and Tiaras, but a mother and her daughter just came on the Today Show while I was writing this, and the little girl was acting like a programmed robot-child doing her little dance and blowing kisses. How obnoxious. That mother should be slapped. Plus? The robot-child said she participates in the pageants for the TOYS. Not that I’m judging. Nope.

**The bugs in North Dakota are HORRENDOUS this year. The worst I have ever seen or experienced. I have massive, ginormous spiders {and webs} on my front porch, around the house, on the plants and trees, everywhere. Usually, I would freak the hell out and have nightmares and scream for my husband to get rid of them, but this year, if there is a chance that these spiders will eat some of the other bugs, I will leave them. Until I see one in my house, then the freaking out will commence.

**I am now on Week 2 of the Couch-to-5K program. It’s actually going pretty well. I am thinking I won’t be saying that in another week or two when it calls for me to run longer than 90 seconds at a time. If you haven’t registered for this race yet, you must. I think it’s pretty great. Not that I am biased or anything.


I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to Tea! New clothes!

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Today, she turns 12. It kind of seems like she has been 12 for awhile now. Maybe it’s because she is my first, but she always seems so much older to me.

Averie: birthday girl interview.

First, let’s talk about 11!

What was your favorite part of being 11? Meeting my new friends at my new school!

Worst part? Cyndee and Great Grandma dying.

What do you hope 12 brings you? Happiness and joy. A boyfriend!!! {and then she retracts it as I try and kill her}

Do you love your Mom? Yes. Very much so. {enter sloppy kiss}


Who are  your best friends? Shae, Mikaila, Sarah, and Jaida.

Favorite song? Give me everything by Pitbull {and various other people that I can’t spell}.

Celebrity? Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber.

Do you have any crushes? Yes. Will. {what happened to the one from last week? and the week before?}

What do you hope you get for your birthday? an iPhone and a laptop and the Sims 3 Generations. {good luck with that!}

If you could go anywhere you want this year, where would it be? Cairo, Egypt.

Would you take me with you? Yah.

What are your favorite things to do? Dance, babysit, and text!

Anything else you would like to add? It’s my birthday!! {woooooooo}


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before and after

take this little girl:

invest a small fortune,

add a splash of purple and blue,

some metal…

and you get this:

teeth will be straight and beautiful in, oh, about two years.

conversation: the children


the kids were all gathered around the piano (keyboard) this afternoon and somehow they came upon the subject of children and how many they would have when they get older. you know, because it always works out this way.

Kane will have four.

Ashton will have three.

Averie will have four or five.

Bridger? he will have ten. said with a straight face, completely serious, not blinking an eye as if this was anything out of the ordinary. he decided he will only be comfortable if he has at least that many, and that he will adopt many from Africa. also? he will have a dog or cat for every two children.

be still, my heart.

to think that these little children came from a woman who had once thought she would never want ANY kids. how i love these little people.

what my daughter has in common with michael j.

Flip Flops

I took Averie in for her annual vitiligo check-up last week and found out that we forgot to go in last year. Oooooops. Yes, please send that mother-of-the-year award my way!

Unfortunately, there haven’t been any breakthroughs in the treatment of vitiligo, nor is there a cure. If you are not familiar with this disorder, vitiligo causes depigmentation of areas of skin. The melanocytes die or cannot function properly. The cause is unknown, but it’s thought to be autoimmune or genetic and occurs in less than 1% of the population.

When people were accusing Michael Jackson of bleaching his skin, he was really just suffering from vitiligo. His signature glove? A way to hide the patches on his hand.

There are a few treatments we can try that may bring some color back to Averie’s skin. The most realistic, for us, at this point in time and living in the North Dakota cold, is to have her start tanning. YES. I SAID TANNING.  You might as well send me yet another mother-of-the-year award. I will be taking my 11-year-old daughter to a tanning salon. We even have a note from the dermatologist.

This opens up a whole new can of worms… mainly skin cancer, premature aging, and all those other nasty things associated with over-tanning. We will be taking preventative measures to only expose the areas that need be (which is, right now, her legs knee-down to her feet and her arms elbow-down to her hands). She puts a probiotic ointment on all her “spots” twice daily and then we will take her tanning a few days a week for a couple of months to see if this helps her regain some coloring.

The doctor had also suggested getting a home machine (woot! Tanning parties at Averie’s house!) but we will hold off on that awhile. And really? I don’t want a big-ass tanning bed in my house. Most insurance companies battle the treatment of vitiligo, saying it’s only cosmetic. Which is completely bullshit because are you really going to tell me that a disease that can completely alter someone’s appearance does not affect a person in other ways? Of course it does.

So, we are going to try the combination of probiotic and UVB rays and see if it helps. She is so young and I know that it will most likely get worse as she gets older, so if there is any chance of it helping, I want to give it a try. We have a Wood’s lamp at home, so I will photograph her spots in the blacklight for comparison in a few weeks. Hopefully, the color will be returning somewhat!

I asked the doc if she was more prone to other autoimmune diseases down the road and got the answer I knew was coming. Most likely, it would be thyroid-related. I know what to watch for and am aware, but hopefully we won’t have to deal with any other issues.


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