Surprises. I like them.

I like surprises. A Lot

The $20 bill you find in your shorts when spring finally rolls around.

A hubby who brings your favorite treat (or better yet dinner!) home from work.

Kids who just clean up without being asked.

I like surprises so much, I didn’t even know where we were going on our honeymoon until we boarded the plane. (So fun! And we went to Mexico just in case you were wondering. Love it there.)

After school brother snuggle time. #momofboys

Maybe my giant love of surprises is why I love being a mom so much. My dudes are full of surprises. They keep me on my toes.

For example, consider the time when I ask my oldest to come downstairs quickly and I see him do this…


Yeah. Totally surprised. And totally rad, right? I was so not expecting that. It is now his preferred way to come down the stairs. He even showed me what he does to control the speed. Who knew he had this hidden talent? Surprise!

I have the coolest kids.


It's almost bedtime (after we laugh our faces off watching Nacho Libre together) and then it is me with my green giant cast snacking on these Green Giant yummies and a whooooole bunch of work to do tonight. #nachoooooo #agiantsurprise #spon

Last night as I hunkered down to get some work done (everything this is so slow with this green giant cast!). I needed a snack to pull me through.

Green Giant totally surprised me with their slightly sweet and slightly saltly Sweet Potato Veggie Chips. Delish.

I ate the whole bag.

In one sitting.

No judgey.  This chip is a snack I can feel good about. (14 grams of whole grain, 40% less fat than regular potato chips)

Props to Green Giant–it was a giant (yummy!) surprise.

Well played, Mr. Giant. Well played.

Green Giant Sweet Potato chips.

(Green Giant™ Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips – Sea Salt Flavor in purple and Green Giant™ Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Zesty Cheddar Flavor in red. Both are good but those sweet potato ones are awesome. Have you tried them?)


Check out Green Giant’s Facebook page and their YouTube Channel for more info!

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at

The Hip Hop Dance Experience


Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps




Here at The R House we like the night life. We like to boogie.

Okay. that’s a lie–we actually don’t like the night life but we do love to boogie.

Most of said boogieing happens in our kitchen although Mr. R is somewhat famous (infamous?) for his moves at his siblings’ weddings.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

I, on the otherhand, do not have such wonderful moves being possibly the least coordinated person that you know. I did, however, give a wonderful tutorial on How to Dance Like a Mom in case you were looking for one.

I need all the boogie practice I can get which is why our family has been loving Hip Hop Dance Experience. Oh. My. Word.

There are three levels of dancing, but I doubt that these two left feet will ever get off of “Newbie” and I am fine with that.

It has great music too– everything from Sugar Hill Gang to Chris Brown.

If you are playing with your kids, you’ll want to monitor the songs that they are dancing to (it is rated “T”), but as long as you approve the song and the avatar you are watching (some are scantily clad), it’s really fun to play with your kids.

Tyson enjoying Hip Hop Dance Experience.
Josh enjoying Hip Hop Dance Experience.

If I were to tell you there is video of dancing by the least coordinated person you know (me), you'd want to know about it, right? On the blog today. (Link on profile.) #UbiHipHop #spon

We found it to be a complete blast, hilarious and you totally work up a sweat. (I hate to admit that I was sore after my first day playing.)

Check it out, people. I can hardly wait for our siblings to come over this weekend and play with us. SO FUN.

Purchase Hip Hop Dance Experience here.





Did you ‘Get the Champion’?

Before we had children, Mr. R made the pilgrimage to South Bend to watching BYU play at Notre Dame.

It’s a trip we hope to make with our children one day (see bucket list #48). For all college football enthusiasts, Mr. R says it is a must. Among the goodies that he brought home from that game were a “Play Like a Champion Today” poster. Although he attended that game years ago, the poster still hangs in our garage where we see it as we come and go during the day.


What does ‘Play Like a Champion Today’ mean?

After Lou Holtz took the head coaching job at Notre Dame back in 1986, he commissioned a simple piece of artwork for the locker room–an old slogan of the school from before the 1900’s, “Play Like a Champion Today.”

“Everybody is going to hit it on the way out to the field to remind them of all the sacrifices they have made, their families have made and other people have made for them to be there.” -Lou Holtz

Doesn’t this photo give you goosebumps?


Last year our children started playing indoor soccer.

For some reason, they called trophies “champions” and the goal was to “get the champion” after every game …even though there wasn’t a trophy given every game. It didn’t matter because they would each ask me, “Mom, did I get the champion?”

Of course they always did.

Tyson definitely got the champion when he scored his first soccer goal and his mom went all crazy-loud on the sideline …at an indoor game, mind you. I shed a tear of pride! I swear they should pass out Kleenex tissues before each game to all the emotional proud mamas.

Gavin was definitely the champion when he was “still in”. Somehow he mixed up baseball and soccer and thought he was winning every game because he was “still in”. Yes, once again I was choking back tears when he said, “I’m still in, Mom!” and trotted down the field. He never scored a goal and only actually kicked the ball a few times, but DANG IT, he was always “still in.” What a little champion.


Imagine how powerful it would be if we all started playing like champions–remembering the sacrifices of others to get us to where we are today in our story.

Especially in adoption, it’s a powerful message.

Here’s to all you champions out there. May you get “the champion”.

And may you ‘Play Like a Champion Today’ and everyday.


Get a Kleenex custom oval BOGO until 11/15/12, just use the code PLAYOFFS at checkout on the MyKleenex site. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.