My name is Heidi. I live in Southern California. I have lived here all my life. I love it. I sometimes wish we had more seasons, and a lot less people, and therefore a lot less traffic. But we also have easy access to the beach, the mountains, Disneyland, and my parents’. I am the oldest of four. We are all married with kids of our own. I love having a big family. I only wish they all lived closer.
I have been a few places in my life … all over the western U.S. and some of the eastern. I’ve lived in Austria and China, visited Thailand and Malaysia, Czech Republic, Ireland and Norway.
I’ve graduated from college, I speak some Chinese, I’ve been learning how to quilt and a year ago began entering my other sewn creations into craft shows (see my etsy page). I am a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), and I love it. Most days. I admit, sometimes I am jealous of my husband who gets to sit in his car, alone, for two hours each day. He calls his commute a drudgery, but oh what this introverted mama wouldn’t give for two hours to herself! Every day! I’m sure my husband has days where he is equally jealous of my days at home in my pj’s, too. We both try and remember there’s significant green grass in our daily lives.
At the age of 38, with a four-month-old baby (and an almost-3-year-old and a 4 1/2-year-old), I was diagnosed with Stage II triple negative breast cancer. It’s a particularly nasty, fast-growing variety. And so, in November 2013 I had a double mastectomy, then 4 months of chemo, then reconstructive surgery. I thought I was done, but in August of 2015 I was diagnosed again, this time with metastatic breast cancer. Stage 4. No cure. This has been a significant blow to me and my family, but we are learning to cope, taking one step at a time. For more, check out my breast cancer page.
I am married to an awesomely-bearded man named Caleb. Together we have climbed three of California’s fourteeners (mountains over 14,000 feet). We have camped all over, with and without kids. We are baseball fans (of the Angels, in particular), we love all things science fiction and everything with Nathan Fillion or Chris Pratt. In our eight shorts years together, we have weathered lost jobs, lost homes, and lost breasts (just mine). But we have also brought into this world three beautiful little girls, and our struggles have only strengthened us. I loved this man when we got married. It’s true that I love him so much more now. I look forward to loving him for a long time.
Caleb is a wonderful photographer. In his next life he’ll get paid to travel and photograph. Since you’re obviously interested, he has a great blog of his own. Check it out!
We have three kids. Our oldest is Josephine (Jojo, Josie, Jos, Josephina Ballerina). She is passionate about everything, good and bad. She laughs easily, she cries easily. One might even call her a drama queen. She loves her friends, but doesn’t think remembering names is all that important. She jumps and runs everywhere she goes. She does not have a slow-down button. And yet, she can sit much longer than the average 5-year-old working on a puzzle or painting a picture. She starts Kindergarten this Fall. I swear it was just yesterday she joined the world at 6 pounds 10 ounces. Crazy how fast they grow.
Our middle child, Eleanor, or Ella, is the definition of a middle child. She is every bit her 3 1/2 years, and I may or may not have recently been overheard referring to her as a holy terror. She is loud and messy and somehow manages to wake up with dirt on her face. She loves to sing at the top of her lungs, usually while running laps around the living room. She has been extremely speech delayed, and only recently has started picking up language. What joy this mama feels to hear her calling me Mommy! When happy, she is delightful and funny and fun and she’s your favorite kid ever. When not so happy, well, look out world. She has an extremely high-pitched scream, and can be more stubborn than a brick wall.
Our baby is Eowyn, named for the warrior princess from The Lord of The Rings. We veered a little from our old fashioned names with her, choosing something completely made up. But we call her Wynnie, for short, so it works. She is the happiest, most easy-going kid I know. She dances when she hears music. She eats almost anything you give her, and anything she can manage to steal from her sisters. On the other hand, she also loves giving her dinner to the dogs. We try to tell her no, but she laughs so happily we end up giving her more food so she can keep feeding them. She is an absolute joy of a kid, and like my others, growing up too darn fast!
There are so many things that make up our lives. Our marriages, extended families, kids, friends, church and pets. We have hobbies and interests. We travel, we cook, we try to stay healthy. And we do it all on impossibly thin budgets. This blog is about all of those things. I’m honored that you would visit, and hopefully I can offer some helpful tidbits, whether they be practical, spiritual, or mental.
Life is certainly chaos, but it is beautiful!