Jumping back in…

It’s always hard, I think, to come back to something after you haven’t been around for awhile. Summertime is winding down, the kids are back in school, and I’m finding myself with things to share here. Still, after not posting a thing in two months, I feel like a small recap is in order, so here goes.

I have been hella freaking busy. And I always hate it when people talk about how busy they are, so in the interest of full disclosure, let me clarify. I have been hella freaking busy about three quarters of the time, and the rest of the time I’ve been overwhelmed and on edge about life and parenthood and dealing with a special needs child and my husband’s job and my own physical and mental health, and I haven’t given a second thought to anything related to social media, other than sharing the very occasional picture on Instagram. So often I see parents I know who are struggling, and they completely throw themselves into their home improvement projects or paper crafts or clean eating or whatever their passion is, and that is how they cope. I wish I were that way, but … I guess I ain’t about that life. My coping mechanism is to hole up in my house, playing Minecraft with my kids and petting my dog. And my blog suffers for it. So, sorry about that. But it does make me sympathetic to the struggles of other people, because I know for sure that things are not always as they appear. The most picture perfect, pin-worthy lives are often a complete wreck behind closed doors, and the truth is, none of us really know what the hell we’re doing. We just do the best we can and move forward.

Here are some awesome things that have happened over the past few months that I haven’t shared here:

Nikki and Lexi are in Girl Scouts again! I used to be their leader, back when they were wee Daisy scouts. Turns out being a Girl Scout Leader is a complete shit show not for me, so they moved into another troop after just a year with me. They never really meshed into the new troop, so we just let Girl Scouts fade away. But no more! My bestie Laura is now a co-leader of their troop, and got them completely fired up about being in Girl Scouts once again! Here they are on their recent camping adventure, where they had an absolute blast. They’re making new friends and strengthening old friendships, and YAY. It’s all great.

Nikki and Lexi camping at Sky High Ranch Girl Scouts of Colorado


Kayley is all grown up now! I mean, she has been for awhile…but she recently turned TWENTY! And the same week she turned twenty, she moved into her own adorable apartment. I got to celebrate her birthday with her in her cute place, and we took mirror selfies, hung out on her balcony, and then I cooked breakfast for her and her friends around 1 a.m. Because I’m cool like that. Then a few days later, I took all the kids over to see their big sister’s place and swim in her pool. They were pretty much blown away by the awesomeness of her cool house, with anime posters and actual legit swords hanging on the walls, and, y’know, cable television and gaming chairs. I had to drag them out of there. 


And of course, all the littles are now back in school. Pablo and Mallory are big, bad 7th graders. Nikki and Lexi are in their last year of elementary school as 5th graders. Things are going splendidly so far! Although I may have alluded to some struggles last year, I don’t think I actually spelled out any of what was going on with my kiddos. Lexi battled pretty severe anxiety, which she has almost completely overcome. My kids in general have a tendency to be hard on themselves, and Lexi in particular is quite the little perfectionist. She still struggles now and then, but things are so, so, SO much BETTER for her now. I’ll probably outline some of the strategies we’ve found that have worked for her and for our family in a future post. 

Pablo is also having a much more positive year in school so far than he did last year. Major changes have taken place in SPED at his school, which I truly believe came about, at least in part, from parents raising hell about their kiddos. You always hear that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but the truth is, that wheel needs to become a freaking SQUARE sometimes in order to get results. As in, this bus ain’t moving until we all stop and figure out what the heck is going on. Of course I don’t want to share too much about my kids’ private business, but I will say this: when it comes to stuff going on at school, whether you have a special needs child or not, you need to get your guts up and speak UP. Make your presence known. Follow your gut instinct. Listen to your kids. Be known at your kids’ school. And DON’T WAIT! When something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Fix it. 

Here are my sweet kiddos on day one – we’re now a little over a month in, and things are overall pretty okay.

My brand new 7th graders and 5th graders, ready for the #firstdayofschool!

A photo posted by Laura Neiman (@housewife_hellraiser) on

Our busy family is usually missing one at the table for dinner – Paul has been working up in the mountains for about a year now, which means that he rarely makes it home to eat with us. We miss him lots, but that’s how it goes in construction – and these projects don’t last forever! I’m just thankful that he is home in my bed almost every single night! We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a week or so ago, and I’m still super smitten with that guy. *swoon*


And I’m still hanging out with my best friend Laura Kelly Walters – we are going to do some crazy cool creative stuff in the weeks and months to come, after barely seeing one another all summer long! Just last weekend, we put on Crafty Happy Hour at Centennial’s Bistro Al Vino along with Katie Berry from A Sweet Berry Blog and Rina Gonzales from Mothership Scrapbook Gal. It was SO much fun, and we heard great things from everyone who came! Our night culminated in a big slumber party at Laura’s house in our matching jammies! So fun!


So there you have it. Just living life. Like Snoop Dogg said, there will be ups and downs, smiles and frowns! Fall is coming and I’m pretty happy about things to come. And how’ve YOU been?


  1. Kathy Chamberlin says:

    Really, really missing YOU. That’s how I’ve been! So happy to read things are looking up; I kept reading, dreading I was going to read something REALLY bad. But thankfully there wasn’t any dreadful news. Incredulous that Kayley’s on her own now and living elsewhere. Scary how quickly time flies and then, poof, they’re all grown up. Such pretty children you have. Sorry Paul’s working so much, but at least it doesn’t take him away over night.

    You’re a great mama. How’s your knee/leg recovery? Almost there? You didn’t mention it.

    1. Laura says:

      Hey Kathy! Long time no see!

      The leg is okay. I mean, it is what it is. It causes me a lot of pain sometimes, but not constantly. It’s not ever going to get any better than it is right now. I’m looking at a knee replacement in my future, but I’m putting it off as long as I can, since they don’t last forever. I’m pretty okay, for the most part!

  2. Melissa says:

    So happy to see a new post! I would like to hear more about the local event…that sounds like a ton of fun.

    1. Laura says:

      Melissa, you should check out Laura Kelly’s blog and find her on Facebook – I’m sure she’ll be posting lots of information about it in the near future!

  3. I love you to pieces. Let’s make pretty things. Let’s go cool new places. Let’s get this new season in life going!!! You are the bestest.

    1. Laura says:

      Yay! Thank you for being such a big part of my life. You brighten my days.

  4. Kim says:

    It’s good to see you here! I love your posts and thoughts and miss them when they aren’t out here for me to enjoy. At this moment, I’m watching football and enjoying being home after a weekend camping trip with Dwaine and the dogs.

    Luff you!

    1. Laura says:

      Yay for camping and football and snuggles and dogs!

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