Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

Two Years...

Two years since we've seen these pearly whites...

(Not sure who's more excited... Jordyn for having them off, or Jeremy and me for having the monthly payments done!)

Wordless Wednesday


It would be very cool to have him work with animals when he grows up...

I just hope he finds somewhere other than our bedroom to do so.

Please leave a message...

Ring. Ring. Ring.


"Hi! You have reached Jeremy, Carin, Jordyn, Rylee & Carter Griffith. We are not available to take your call right now.

I may not be available for awhile, to be honest.

I am probably in the bathroom, doing a potty dance.

Or I might be bribing someone giving someone a treat for keeping undies dry.

I might be explaining to a little girl that boys have one and girls don't -- and that, no, she didn't lose hers.

Or I might be in the laundry room, starting a load of wet undies.

I might be taking a quick shower because a little boy didn't check to see that it was tucked into the toilet, and I got a special little shower of my own.

Just leave a message and I'll call you back as soon as I no longer have to buy pull-ups."



They were right. We got lots of snow.

Eighteen and a half inches in our area, to be exact.

And even though she did her best

and tried really hard,

it was actually him with this

and this

that dug us out.

Someone Around Here

And so the accumulation begins...

But it's okay.

Because someone around here

will dig us out.

Comfort Capes Story Take Two Ten

Seriously, people. This is what "they" are telling "us."

By "they" I mean the talented yet postpone-happy people at The Early Show.

By "us" I mean the lovely lady who created the Comfort Capes, as well as those of us who have some connection with the story.

Tomorrow morning -- Thursday (if you're losing track of days this week like I am) December 24th -- between 8:30 am and 9:00 am on CBS's The Early Show... we HOPE to see a story about some little super-heros...

like this one.

And, if, for some reason, something comes up that is seen as more newsworthy and our story gets bumped again...

well, then I might just scream.

And if what bumps us is something about this blizzard we are getting here in the midwest, I will really scream. It's snow, people. And we live in South Dakota.

So, set your DVRs for the morning!

Wordless Wednesday

12 Days of Giving (Part 2)

Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika

Though the first 12 days of December have come and gone (and quickly, might I add!), I am still going to post a few more things I've done this month as part of Bethany's 12 Days of Giving. (Thanks, Bethany, for reminding all of us of the excitement of giving!)

Back in August, I blogged about the inclusion of a story my Mom wrote about Rylee in the recently-released Gifts 2 book.

In her write-up, there were several people mentioned (not by name) -- people who played an important role in "Rylee's Story." Though I have tried to do things over the years to show our appreciation, (like sending Rylee's birthday photo collage/thank you each year) I wanted to remind them of their importance in our lives.

I sent each of them a copy of the book, along with a letter. I wanted them to know that they were included in this book, and that the role they played in Rylee's life would always mean a lot to our family.

There are so many people who come and go in our lives. Each one changes us, and I want everyone who has touched our lives to know it.


Didn't anyone

ever teach these kids



is more?

Doesn't look like they're too worried about it.

Happy Holidays 2009

I began this blog in February of this year. Now, having written just over 100 posts, I look back at all of the things I've gained because of it -- the opportunity to write, the ability to share family stories and photos, the chance to connect with other families/moms/bloggers, and the list goes on...

Thank you -- to everyone who has stopped by to see what I'm "Learning As I Go." I appreciate all of the support I've been given, and am so excited to continue this journey of learning next year!

Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday with family and friends!

Watch Your Elbows!

So, we have already established that I am not, nor was I ever, the athletic type. And we have also established that Jordyn definitely didn't get her sports ability from me (biologically, quite impossible) but still...

Basketball season has begun. Jordyn plays hard and she plays well. She doesn't take much crud on the court. As I watch her play, I am taken back to my very short-lived basketball-playing days in high school.

I wasn't the competitive type. Sure, I liked to win, but I always felt bad for the other team.

"I mean, can we just play and have fun and not keep score? Anyone?"

I didn't really want to get the ball. I mean, it would be great to get the ball and make a basket and score for your team. But, when you get the ball, there's a chance you won't make a basket either... and I never wanted to let my team down.

Whisper in my head... "Please don't throw me the ball... please don't throw me the ball.... please don't throw me -- oh thank you for not throwing me the ball."

I wasn't the toughest girl by any means. I didn't want to get hurt, and I surely didn't want to hurt anyone else.

"Oh, did my elbow bump your arm? It didn't hurt, did it?"

Not exactly the attitude you need to get the rebound, Carin.

So, as I watch Jordyn, I am torn. Obviously I want Jordyn to play well, and playing well sometimes means playing tough (fair, but tough.)

But, as Jeremy sits there, puffing out his chest when Jordyn gets aggressive on the court, I can't help but think, "Way to go Jordyn!! But please... watch your elbows!"

Jordyn -- Red -- #52

Wordless Wednesday

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations, President Obama! Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize is an incredible honor!

You see, I had my DVR set to tape the Early Show on CBS this morning. However, it's wasn't set to tape you. (No offense Mr. President.) I was actually waiting to see a story in which my daughter's picture may appear. Though she may someday receive the Nobel Peace Prize, her story had nothing to do with your award. It was actually a story about capes.

Yes, that's right. Capes.

I have been waiting for a story to air. Every time I hear that it's going to air, I send out messages to all of our friends and family, asking them to watch.

And each time, something comes up. And the story is bumped.

Now, I do agree whole-heartedly that you winning the Nobel Peace Prize is definitely newsworthy. Much more newsworthy than recent stories about... well, I won't get into that.

However, many people are excited to see this story about capes.

So, just a quick favor... something that would take just a moment of your time -- I think you could squeeze it in, say, between your speech about the Nobel Peace Prize, and your flight to Ghana to save starving children.

Can you pull some strings at The Early Show and see if our story could run tomorrow? Or even next week sometime? I would really appreciate it -- as would my family and friends, who by now must be thinking that there really is no story about capes, and that I'm just fooling them all.

Again, congrats Mr. President. And thanks in advance for the favor.



Remember when I shared with you the story of the Comfort Capes?

Then, remember when I told you the airing of it on The Early Show was postponed?

Yes, it's all coming back to you, isn't it...

THEN, remember when I told you it still hadn't been scheduled to air?

Well, the time is here!

Tomorrow morning unless something especially urgent to share with the American public comes up, like a pro-golfer's mother-in-law being hospitalized for stomach pains the story is scheduled to air!

Thursday, December 10
The Early Show (CBS)
Show runs from 7 am to 9 am
Story slotted to run between 8:30 and 9 am

Watch closely.... we are told we'll see this cutie!

Wordless Wednesday


We promote literacy with everyone in our house.

Vocabulary Mix-Up

Carter is working on some fabulous new art. He often says that white crayons are "broken" because, naturally, on white paper, they cannot be seen.

This morning I brought out some black paper and, much to his surprise, white crayons work! I showed him how to draw some snowflakes, and he was off drawing like crazy. (Nothing that resembled snowflakes, but that's not the point.)

Anyway, I left him to work on his masterpiece, and a few minutes later he came running to me with his paper.

"Mom! Look!"

Looking at his paper, it was obvious that he had sneezed. Splatters of... well, I'll just leave it at that since some of you may eat breakfast late.

I said, "Oh Carter, what happened?" (One of those silly questions Moms ask when they, of course, being smart Moms... already knows the answer to.)

"I bless-you'd on my paper!"

*smile and little chuckle inside*

"You 'sneezed' on your paper?"

"No, I BLESS-YOU'D on my paper!"

So.... we've taught some great manners -- but vocabulary needs some work!

Decorating the Tree

When I said we would be decorating the tree,

I should have specified what we would be decorating the tree with.

Merry Christmas Mr. Potato Head.

12 Days of Giving (Part 1)

Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika

When Bethany at Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika began the 12 Days of Giving (on December 1st) I wanted to participate! Her mission was to encourage others not only to give, but to share it on their blog to inspire others.

Somehow, days 1, 2 and 3... then 4, 5 and 6 got away from me. So, I told myself I was too late. If I didn't fully participate in all 12 days, starting on the very first day, then I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to just "sort of" participate. (I've always been a "do it really well or not at all" type of person.)

Anyone else like this?

Well, today I realized that was silly. Sharing even one time is better than none at all! So here I am. Sharing something. It might be everyone else's Day 6, but it's my Day 1. It might be my only day, or it might be one of a few... but I'm here!

(Let me clarify and give me a little credit by saying that this not my only day of giving for the year! I think I do lots of giving throughout the year! This is just my day of sharing my idea of giving... make sense?)

I am sharing something today that I actually do every year after Rylee's birthday. It all started out on Rylee's 1st Birthday. I was overwhelmed by thinking about all the people that had been involved in her life so far -- from doctors and nurses to Early Intervention specialists and therapists - and I wanted to let them know that we appreciated what they had done. I wanted to show them that we'd made it to her 1st Birthday... that she was healthy and happy (and adorable.) Some hadn't seen her since she was in Intensive Care as a baby; others may have only seen her a few times. But, each person had made a difference -- and I wanted them to know.

I started a database of names, and each year I add people to the list. Another doctor, a preschool teacher, a new Physical Therapist, the school van driver... the list just keeps growing.

And each year, after Rylee's birthday, I create a simple 4x6 photo collage of pictures from her party, along with a little message. I mail one to each person on "Rylee's list..."

Here is this year's photo collage...

and a close-up of the message to everyone...

Some people tell me how much the photo means to them... others we never hear from. What I love is putting the labels on each envelope... remembering each person and their role in Rylee's life; knowing that Rylee was a small part of their life. My heart smiles when I realize that we're up to almost 80 names now...

I don't ever want to stop thanking others for being a part of Rylee's life... and our lives.


She turned six.

At first, her little brother had trouble understanding it was her day for presents.

But she saw him trying hard to be a big kid,

so she let him help open a few of her presents.

She checked out her new Viewfinder,

posed with her adorable little purse,

showed everyone her new movies,

and held up her new doll (that giggles and drinks a bottle and says "mama") for all to see.

When it was time for cake,

she smiled,

and laughed,

and reminded everyone at the party what a fun personality she has.

When everyone sang "Happy Birthday," she got a little shy,

quickly blew out the candles,

and wasted no time in devouring her piece of birthday cake.

Now, she is six....

and she couldn't be more loved.