Sunday, August 10, 2014


We have suffered a significant loss at our house, and it has taken me a while to be able to write about it. It may seem trivial to some, but to me, it has been a major ordeal.

Let's start with a little back story.

A few months ago when I bought my new laptop, I transferred EVERYTHING from our last three computers to my external hard drive and we smashed the old hard drives. We were donating the computer parts to a college computer science program and didn't feel comfortable sending the hard drives to them too.

Fast Forward to the end of June.

The day we left for our summer vacation was a great day. Shaun took the day off to help me prepare and I had extra time on my hands in the afternoon, so I emptied my camera roll on my phone to my external hard drive. I updated my blog up through our trip to the library that afternoon. When I was finished I unplugged my external hard drive and stored it in our fire-proof filing cabinet, which I often do when we go on vacation. Better to be safe than sorry!

Fast Forward again to mid-July.

Shaun had to go out of town for work, so I figured that week was a good time to start updating the blog on all of the summer fun we had been having. I pulled out the hard drive from the filing cabinet and it wouldn't turn on. Shaun was gone, so I just decided to wait until he got back later in the week to have him look at it. 

Over the last three weeks, we've had a few computer guys/shops look at it for us. They have each said they have never seen anything more corrupted than this hard drive. They can't recover a SINGLE file off of it. 

EVERY.SINGLE.PICTURE. of my kids was on that thing. My private journal I kept after my dad died was on there. Personal letters and other documents were lost. 

I really have gone through the stages of grief over the loss of our external hard drive.

Denial: At first I was sure someone could fix it. I wasn't getting to worked up about it and was willing to pay whatever I needed to to get it fixed. I was SURE it would be fixed. I think this was a defense mechanism that helped dissipate the shock.

Anger: I started to get mad at Shaun for smashing the old hard drives (even though it was my idea at the time). I got mad at the computer guys for not being able to fix it and for not knowing how the heck it even happened!! I was mad that this was happening to me. I felt guilty that my kids won't have baby pictures, or birthday party pictures, or family vacation pictures. And feeling guilty just made me feel more angry! 

Depression: After a couple of computer guys looked at the hard drive and pretty much as a last hope, I dropped the hard drive off at a computer repair shop in which our acquaintance owns. He was very hopeful and promising. He called the day that Shaun and I were headed to Sunriver for a date weekend. No luck!!! We stopped by his shop on our way out of town to discuss a few things with him. Once we got in the car the tears started. I pretty much cried or slept the whole way to Sunriver. Through out the weekend certain things would trigger the tears again. Shaun was so sweet to help we work through this and not get frustrated that our date weekend was being taken over by his emotional wife! 

Acceptance: I'm still working on this!! There is pretty much no way our files will be recovered, so I am trying to remember other places that have pictures. I'm so grateful that I've kept this blog up to date, even though sometimes it seems like just another chore on my list. I will continue to take thousands of pictures (I did a quick calculation and I had more than 40,000 pictures on that hard drive) so our lives will still be documented. I am working on other ways to save files and pictures with back ups and back ups for back ups! 

I will still continue to grieve over the loss of these pictures, especially as things come up where they would have been very useful. I will also still always wonder what happened to that hard drive. But I am trying to not let it upset me so much. Soon, I will be back in the land of blogging. I'm just having a hard time facing that reality right now.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 22-26:Train Park and Swimming Lessons


We visited the Molalla Tain Park

Miley wasn't too sure about riding on them

But the big kids had lots of fun!


We stuck around the house Monday morning and got some chores done so we could have fun in the afternoon.
Gage earned himself a time out and Miley wanted to keep him company!
Miley discovered the world of dress-up accessories! Thank goodness for a big sister who is out of school and can show her the ropes!

We played at the Wilsonville water park in the afternoon! We stayed for 3 hours!!

The kids were surprisingly so good and it was just the outing I needed to regain faith in my parenting skills!

We stopped at Sonic on the way home for 1/2 price slushes!

Then we headed to swim lessons. The kids each advanced to the next class at the end of last summer, so today was their first try in the new levels. Gage did a great job, and has a class full of boys which is perfect for him!

Maisey's also did a great job, but her class was pretty challenging for her. They had them diving off the side, gliding, rolling over, and doing the back stroke back. She felt pretty overwhelmed, but she did a great job for her first day!


Maisey found a breakfast recipe in on of her magazines and tried it all by herself! Her sibling happily tasted her creations.

By lunch time we were all itching to get out of the house! We headed up to Daddy's work and met him for a picnic! The kids loved getting to see dad during the day!

Gage went to a birthday party at Get Air, an indoor trampoline park. I thought after two hours of bouncing he would have bounced all of his wiggles out. Not the case! How does he have so much energy? Luckily he was going to Grandma's for a sleep over afterward!


Grammy kept Gage most of the morning while I got some packing done at home. She took him to McDonald's for breakfast and let him get some ice cream after he ate his pancakes. Grammy is the best!

Maisey and Miley continued  to play dress up all morning, while I worked! I love that Maisey is such a good babysitter!

That afternoon, Daddy came home from work a bit early to swim with the kids before and after their lessons! Our Daddy sure is the best!


I love this picture! Miley is sitting on Maisey's American Girl doll bike and she even has a little puppy dog in the front basket!

We went to see the Reptile Man at our library. The snapping turtle was pretty snappy and those snakes. . . EEK!!!

And now we are headed to St. George and then to Grandpa and Grandma Grimmett's! 

YAY for summer vacations!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 15-21: Father's Day, Bowling, and Beach


We celebrated Father's Day by taking naps, having Cafe Rio burritos, and ice cream cake! Pretty sweet deal!

But what he was really excited about was that he got my cousin's Xfinity username and password and can now watch all the sports he wants on his phone. Yaaaaay! (said sarcastically!)

The kids all had a movie night and a sleepover.

I checked on Miley before I went to bed and found her laying on her Frozen figurines and holding on to Anna. 


Pancake breakfast with cousins!

I was feeling a bit adventurous so we decided to go bowling! Shaun was going to meet us during lunch to help with all of the kids but he ended up now being able to get away. So it was me with 5 kids!!! One of the kids bowled their ball down the wrong lane, one kid bowled their ball before the pins were reset and it hit the machine. The score computer kept losing connection so our score was always off. Oh, and we had a two year old with us! We ended up leaving part way through the 7th frame! Maybe we will try again when we have another adult with us!

Miley thought she was pretty hot stuff getting her own shoes and ball and her name on the screen!

My bowling crew!!


We ventured to the $1 Summer movies. We saw Hotel Transylvania and Miley did much better than I expected her to. I would definitely take her to see another movie!

That afternoon my mom came over and I helped her set up her external hard drive and transfer all of her pictures from her phone over to it.

She had this picture on there! I can't believe it has already been 2 years!

Such a sweet baby!!!


After baths in the evening, we practiced riding bikes again. He totally has the brakes and steering down now. And he can start with out any help! I would say he can ride a two-wheeler and we officially marked it off our summer list!


We headed to Seaside for a little getaway. I was nervous to go with out Shaun, but we made it work!

Our first stop was the Tillamook Cheese Factory!

Gage wanted a turn driving and these guys wanted a picture so they just hopped right in with him. 

My cheese man sampling some cheese!

Miley was obsessed with watching the cheese being made.

We all got yummy ice cream then made our way to Seaside.

I would like to say that she was all smiles at the beach. . .

. . . but in reality, she was only smiling when she was on the blanket! She hated the sand and the water and refused to touch either one!

It was very windy that afternoon!

Maisey was all about the beach! She had such a great time, but I reminded her she used to be just like Miley was!

She went in the water up to her waist. . . in her clothes!

Miley wouldn't even let her feet touch the blanket if it had sand on it!

Gage has always loved the sand and was totally in his element. However, he didn't like the sand pelting him in the face from the wind.

He built a mote and talked Maisey into bringing him pails of water to fill it up and soak his feet!

After a few hours at the beach we called it a day and headed to the condo to swim. That lasted about 30 minutes because it was so cold and windy!

We walked along the promenade and stopped at a shark exihibt!

Now this is my kind of drink shop! Forget BevMo!!! 

In our hunt for dinner we found the carousel!

Gage loved that the cat had a fish in his mouth!

And Maisey had us wait a whole turn just so she could ride the mermaid horse! :)

We tried on hats at the hat shop

And Gage begged for a tattoo. . . kidding! But he was pretty set on playing with that sign while we waited for our dinner!

We ended the night with a bit of beach yoga in our condo! :)


I woke up to this cute girl two inches from my face saying "Hi Mama!" Which is kind of a problem since she was sleeping in a pack and play 20 yards from my bed! And she must have made a smooth exit because I didn't even hear a thud! That should make our summer vacation interesting!

It was really nice in the morning so we headed down to the beach first thing. Miley made huge improvements by playing in the sand with a shovel. She still wouldn't let her feet touch the sand, but we will take any progress we can get!

And all of that progress washed away, literally, when a sneaker wave caught me off guard and got us soaked. She was pretty upset!

My mom tried to get her to touch the sand and she was just not having it!

Gage wanted his legs buried but his big toes showing!

Look at that blue sky!

By about lunch time it started getting windy again so we decided to pack up and check out of our condo. 
We then went over to the aquarium before we headed home.

Maisey feeding the seals pieces of cut up fish! She was brave to touch those things!

Gage enjoyed the color rubbings.

And Miley went around and kissed all of the tanks!


Shaun had to work Saturday morning. And by work, I mean he had to sit around and watch servers load while eating Voodoo Doughnuts and watching the world cup projected up on the wall! Hard life!

The kids and I worked hard on cleaning out the van. It was DIS.GUS.TING!!! I'm not even sure when the last time it's been cleaned!

Apparently it was before Christmas, because that is a candy cane stuck under the front console.

In the afternoon we hired a babysitter and we went on the tour of homes in Salem. We found good ideas for our next home, and definitely some things we wouldn't do. It was fun to finally spend some good one-on-one time with him!