Monday, September 21, 2015


While cleaning out my old nightstand, I came across a key. It was shoved in the the back of a drawer of a nightstand that I hadn't looked in in over a year. I couldn't think of what it was to, but only for a moment until a rush of emotion came over me and I realized that this was the key to my home.

My grandpa's house was across the street from a sea cliff overlooking the beach in San Clemente.. I didn't realize at the time that this place, smelling of ocean air, old wood, and 1970's shag carpeting, was my safe place.
My dad would pick my sister and I up every other weekend and, for me, it was like being transported a world away from my life of school, homework, arguments with my sister, and every day life. Even after I turned eighteen and my dad didn't need to take us on the weekends anymore, I still drove down there a lot to see my grandpa; sometimes cousins would be visiting from up North, sometimes it was just my grandpa or my dad, sometimes I'd bring a friend along.. no matter what, "The Ark" was always there for me to go home to for most of my life.

I've lived in seventeen different homes. Whether it was with my mom, my dad, with friends and family, or on my own, I've been a gypsy all of my life with dreams of settling down in one place. When I stumbled upon the key to my grandpa's home, I was reminded of the hope I had for my own stable future and now my families.

I am often envious of Rory's childhood; he had one home to rest his head at night. The 1950's track home he moved in to at six months old is still the one his parents reside in almost forty years later. Nearly forty years of the Christmas tree in the same spot, opening presents in the same living room, memories made under the same roof. I look back on my childhood and see my moms hardships, one Christmas at mom's and another at Dad's, clothes in a suitcase... always feeling unsettled.

I take all these memories of mine.. the moves, the traveling on the 405 for hours a month, the leases and hopes for a longer stay in the next place, the stability of the Mellin home on the other side of the valley, and strive for a more stable life for my kids. I cherish the home we're in now that I love, that Rory loves and that Logan even loves (she calls this rental her "beautiful home"); this will always be our home where we became a family of four, where we grew in our marriage, as parents, as people. I hold on to the hope that we can build memories in this home for many years and can one day buy a home of our own that our children and grandchildren can come back to for the rest of our lives.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Weekend Snapshots - An Attempt at an Anniversary Celebration

The weeks leading up to our anniversary, I had been scouring Groupon and Living Social for some kind of deal on a hotel for one night either in Santa Barbara or San Diego; we wanted to take the kids away for the weekend to celebrate. Unfortunately, hotel rates were absurd and we settled on a day trip to the Aquarium in Long Beach. We talked it up the morning of with Logan and she was so excited on the drive down. When we got there, she was not amused. Before we even walked in the door, Wesley spit up right in my freshly washed hair (moms, you get it right? Immediately stinky before the day even began). So in we walk, smelling like vomit, all of us sweating.. this is how we began. I did my best to shake off the acidy spit up smell that I wreaked of and the fact that every inch of me was dripping and overheated to encourage Logan to look at "all of the awesome ocean creatures" and she just wasn't in to it.

"Logan, look! Wow a seahorse!"
"Where mom? Oh. Put me down. I'm done. Let's do something else."

She did have a few moments of enjoyable time while at the "touch tank"; a shark even accidentally touched her and she didn't have a melt down. Unfortunately, mama cut the outside time at the touch tank short because I felt like I was going to pass out and die in the heat. We ventured back inside hoping that Logan would have a better time now that she had been having fun outside, but no. Some scuba divers were cleaning a tank that we walked through and she was horrified. There was a few minutes of hyperventilation and lots of stares from strangers which I felt super uncomfortable with because I wasn't quite sure if they were staring at her or me; sweating, hair a mess, face red, and smelling of puke. Needless to say, we were done. A quick walk through the gift shop where we bought nothing and out the door we went.

At least there was one smiling kid...
We darted out the door to a restaurant because we were all cranky and hungry.. Logan played with her food, the one thing I got at that particular restaurant wasn't on their menu; you know, continued chaos. After lunch, I again tried to shake off the crap shoot that had been our day and suggested we take a little stroll around the harbor... I lasted a few minutes before telling Rory we needed to get in our air conditioned car immediately.

Happy anniversary to us! Maybe next year we'll plan for something strictly indoors with no dark rooms or crowds.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Four Years

Four years ago I married my best friend; we stood in front of the most important people in our lives and promised to love each other no matter what life threw at us. Over the last four years, we've had three stressful moves, two babies, lots of big life decisions, we said goodbye to our kitty babies, made new friends, and we've changed. We've grown together, we have supported and loved each other through it all and there's no one else I'd rather live this life with. Every day I am reminded at how incredibly lucky I am to be Rory's wife; when I see him playing with our kids, caring for and loving them, and am also reminded when each morning he rides off to work to try as hard as he can to provide for his family. No one compares to this man.Today's the day we celebrate our anniversary, but truly, I celebrate every day.


see more wedding photos here and here

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Smelling the Roses

Our four year wedding anniversary is just about a week away, our first baby is nearly three years old, we have another sweet girl in our family, we've been on this adventure together for seven years in five different homes and it seems like it all has happened in the blink of an eye. I so vividly remember going to the house on Tulsa to meet the roommates, to see if I was a good fit to move in. I remember coming back the next day to meet Rory; in he walked with some sort of beat up sports shoes, camo shorts and an oil stained shirt.. little did we both know that first meeting was the first meeting we'd have with the person we'd spend our lives with. Seven years, gone by in a flash.

Everything seems so rushed in this adult life; rushing to be dating then engaged then married then to have babies. Once the babies come it's rushing to appointments and rushing to play dates and rushing to get the dishes washed, the laundry done and the meals made. Logan's  little friends are now being rushed off to preschool... I don't even want to think of that now. 

We've been so busy lately which I enjoy because it makes the weekends come quicker, but the weekends are rushed through as well and we're back to Monday doing it all over again. There's always somewhere to be these days and I feel as if I'm running through it all and not really living.

Tonight, I had just finished some dinner and Rory was holding a sleeping baby when Logan cried out. I went upstairs to her bedside to re tuck her so I could head back downstairs to the dishes but I decided to lay next to her instead. She cried for a while, I held her and tucked her hair behind her ear, told her I loved her and cherished that moment. I studied her face, the gap in her front teeth, her upper lip that's shaped like a perfect "M" (just like mine), her cabbage patch cheeks, her slightly turned up nose, the curls that draped over her neck; I want to remember every bit of her two year old self. 
Tonight, I took some advice; I put my other responsibilities on hold and stopped to smell the roses.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Late Night Thoughts

photo by Ressull Salvi Photography
It's almost midnight and  I'm lying here next to a snoring baby as I type away on my phone. I've sat down a time or two to blog; I even start posts in my head that I intend to work on later, but it always gets away from me. The few times that I've actually sat down at the computer and opened up blogger is after I've fed both kids, gotten the baby to sleep, managed to eat something quickly myself and then before I know it, the baby is awake and needs to eat again or Logan needs to be taken to the bathroom. One sweet girl is always in need of something, if not both.

The truth is that lately I've had quite a lot on my plate. There's been the uncertainty of Rory's job (which thankfully led to a good outcome), the recovery of childbirth and adjusting to life with two almost completely by myself as Rory had no kind of paternity leave, trying to eat well, lose that hateful baby weight, battling with doctors offices, holding on the line for the county medi-cal  office for an hour while caring for two kids, sitting in the lobby of a medi-cal office for two hours with both kids and managing a pee mess from Logan during our wait, calling back and forth to all four companies that make up our family insurance, writing letters of financial hardship, sifting through piles of papers, washing dishes, laundry (so much laundry), family in town weekend after weekend after weekend... I've been plowing through it all by myself and am ready to be on the other side of it all already. I'm not really stressed or anxious; I actually feel quite numb to it all at this point. I feel as if this financial chaos and being in a  constant state of "busyness" has been life for such an extended amount of time that I just am existing through it all.
I hate that.

Today was my mom's birthday and we hosted a little celebration. I had the thought to go get her her favorite cake before everyone arrived and I asked Logan if she'd like to come with me.. Just her and I. We left Rory and Wesley at home and even though it was a short trip, it felt so wonderful to just enjoy her company. I felt a lot of guilt rushing in after we got home as I started to think about what she could be feeling over the last ten weeks. 
The night we got home from the hospital, Rory had put Logan to bed and when he came downstairs he got pretty emotional and expressed his worry about Logan feeling neglected. I read something about "how to play with your toddler while caring for a newborn" and each time Wesley falls asleep and I turn on the TV for Logan so I can make phone call after phone call regarding insurance and bills, that article rings in the back of my mind; I should be playing with her.. I should be more attentive and I feel angry at all the outsiders who are taking away the time I have with her, but it must be taken care of. Claims have to be questioned and readjusted and kids need ID numbers and copies of birth certificates to do anything... There's a lot of nonsense to get through right now.

I started to think about some last blog posts and I believe I have been talking about "hoping for a small getaway with my family" for well over a year now and still, nothing has happened. I'm envious of friends who jet off on the weekends, I wish we had that type of life. Our anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks and we've been looking at all of the coupon sites for a bargain on a hotel room and some sort of family friendly activity so that we can actually go away and do something that's not a trip to  Home Depot or the mall... I have high hopes that something will work out. I need a short trip out of what my reality is right now. I need a break from the phone calls and the paper work and the statements in the mail. I need to have some days where I can be fully immersed in my family and just enjoy.

I know the bills will stop coming and that the insurance issues will get straightened out; everything should be taken care of in a matter of weeks, I just can't wait to get there so we can start living a better quality of life.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rain Drops on Roses and...

- Logan saying "I love you mommy. You're my best friend in the whole wide world."

- Wesley's routine of eye rolls, smiles and frowny faces when she's falling asleep.

-The sound of the garage opening after 5pm (that means dad is home).

- Lying on the ground, by myself, staring at the stars. A favorite memory is sneaking down to Uncle Bill's dock in Big Bear, braving my fear of the bats, lying down in his boat, reveling in the beauty that is clear mountain air and making wishes on satellites (because I never see shooting stars).

-Finding a shirt that fits at Anthropologie in the SALE section.

- A newly discovered treat: Paleo mug brownies

- Logan singing along to my favorite Disney songs. Her favorites are "Jolly Holiday" from Mary Poppins and "Yo Ho Yo Ho (a Pirates Life for Me)".

- My relationships. I have opened my heart to more people in the last year than I have in my life time. I have some best girl friends that mean the world to me, my family relationships are finally healthy, my friendships are strong; my heart is feeling full.

- Showers! Real talk: I have a two year old and a six week old.. a shower doesn't happen every day.

- Family time.. just the four of us. I love seeing Logan smile and learn. I love how Logan adores her dad (and vice versa) . I love that Logan in concerned about her sister; "Don't forget baby sister, mama!". My life in this family of four is everything I've dreamed of.

....these are a few of my favorite things.


Monday, July 20, 2015


Today could have been an awful day; there was a lot of noise and chaos in the background as well as a flat tire and $80 gone to replace it. But there was also a lunch date with my mom, a dear friend came over to catch up, and there was lots of "I love you mom"'s and sweet baby smiles.

Choosing to rise above, see the good, and live in love is the most important lesson I could have ever learned.