Pickles the Kitten

Introducing…Pickles Peters!

Pickles the Kitten

You guys, it’s been an interesting summer around here! There have been good and bad developments (more on those later), but one of the most fun has been the addition of a new KITTEN to our family! Lucy has been begging for a kitten for about four years, but her dad was very against the idea. I’m not sure what changed his mind, but out of nowhere he decided to surprise her with a kitten for her birthday earlier this summer! A few weeks later we came home with Pickles!

Pickles the Kitten

Pickles was a barn kitten, so when we brought her home we knew she was little, but had no idea how young she actually was. Turns out she was WAY TOO YOUNG and we ended up feeding her goat milk from a dropper until she was big enough to eat on her own. The good news is she’s now about 10-weeks-old and doing awesome! The bad news is she likes to sleep on my head in the middle of the night…

Pickles the Kitten

We were a little worried about how Teddy would do with a tiny kitten, but it turns out he’s the best dog ever! He takes so much abuse from Pickles, who likes to play all day long, but he is fairly patient with her and seems to enjoy having her around. After I posted a few photos of them to social media, I had quite a few requests to create them their very own Instagram account, so now you can follow their adventures over at @teddyandpickles. Beware, you may be overwhelmed by the cuteness!

Pickles the Kitten

Listening : My Favorite Podcasts

Fave Podcasts-web

A few months ago we realized that our big, dumb puppy was basically a destructive tornado. Once he grew out of that adorable stage where 10 minutes of play made him sleep for an entire day, he turned into a ball of energy that we couldn’t control. He’s super-intelligent, but he gets bored easily, and if he’s not worn out, it’s a big problem. After he chewed up every flip-flop, winter glove, and stuffed animal in the house, we decided to leave him in the backyard to play more often…which then led to him destroying our backyard. We may be thick-headed, but eventually we learned our lesson! While our pup is part Rottie (lazy, sleeps all day), he is also part Labrador, so he needs exercise.

About 6 months ago I started walking/running with Teddy for a half hour to an hour per day. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, whatever…because if he doesn’t get his walk, someone is gonna lose an expensive shoe (and that someone is probably me!). While I love listening to music when I’m working out, these walks are more chill, so I started listening to audio books and then, finally, podcasts. I love podcasts because they cover every topic under the sun, and like blogs, they are done by regular people who are passionate about whatever they are talking about. I tend to like humorous podcasts, but in the past six months, I’ve found quite a few with super-different topics that are all amazing. It’s awesome, because if I get interrupted during the workday to go for our walk, I can still work by listening to a podcast that relates to a project I’m doing or running a small business. If I’m headed out after the kids are in bed, I usually find a comedy podcast to make me laugh at the end of a long day. If I’m going early in the morning I tend to like a news-related podcast. I’ve developed quite a list over the many walks I’ve been on, and I’m pumped to share them here! (Note, I’ve linked these to the podcasts’ websites, but all of these can also be found on iTunes.)

Fave Small Business Podcast – Elise Gets Crafty
Written by Elise Blaha Cripe of EliseJoy.com, this podcast covers topics for creative small businesses such as running an online shop, maintaining creative habits and pursuing creative dreams. Her topics are both inspirational and informational, with guests who share tips on everything from work schedules to how to start a kickstarter campaign.

Fave Parenting Podcast – For Crying Out Loud
This podcast is hosted by Lynette Carolla (wife of Adam Carolla) and my friend Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, who is a comedy writer and author. While this is technically a parenting podcast, it’s mostly a hilarious comedy hour that relates to parenting topics. Highly recommended for mamas who need a laugh!

Fave All Encompassing Nerd Podcast – The Nerdist
This is a hard one to categorize, because it’s so many different genres. It’s hosted by comedians, but they cover topics that are all over the place. The one connecting string is that they are all topics that a nerd like me finds FASCINATING! Most of their shows are focused on a guest, and that person determines what they end up talking about. They interview actors, musicians, authors, scientists and comedians about their lives and how they got to where they are today. All the episodes are great, but I highly recommend beginning with one of the Neil deGrasse Tyson ones because they are freaking incredible.

Fave Podcast When I Need a Boost of Awesome – Your Kick Ass Life
Andrea Owen is a life-coach who focuses on finding your kick-ass self. She is also a friend and someone with an amazing perspective on life. The tagline for this podcast is “Self help served up straight with a side of crazy. Because life’s too short for it not to kick ass.” Exactly.

Fave News Radio Podcast – NPR: Fresh Air
This award-winning weekday audio magazine has been on the radio for years, but now I can listen to it whenever I want. Host Terry Gross interviews international newsmakers, covering topics from world events to science/technology to music/movies/television.

Fave Story-Based Podcast – Serial
Duh. Have you seriously not listened to Serial yet? Seriously? This podcast from the creators of This American Life unfolds one true story of a crime over the course of each season. This is addictive listening, but it’s so, so good. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop until the end.

Fave Meditation Podcast – Tara Brach
Tara Brach is an author, Buddhist and meditation teacher at the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC. This podcast features meditations and talks covering topics such as radical acceptance and listening to our hearts.

Fave Comedy Podcast – Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler is an comedienne, actress and TV host. She interviews her famous friends and they talk about all sorts of crazy stuff. It’s hard to explain specific topics, because it’s more conversational than anything else. It makes me laugh and I think Aisha Tyler is pretty rad, so it’s a keeper for me.

Fave Pop Culture Podcast – Pop Culture Happy Hour
This podcast is a roundtable discussion about books, TV, comics, movies and anything else in the pop culture universe. Linda Holmes from NPR’s Monkey See blog leads the panel and it’s always entertaining.

Fave Recovery Podcast – The Bubble Hour
This is an amazingly inspiring podcast about long term recovery done by a few incredible women that I’m lucky to call my friends. I’ve actually been a guest on this show, but that’s not why it’s my fave. It’s my favorite because it talks about real people and real problems, and then focuses on the solutions. Highly recommended if you or someone you love is in recovery.

Are you a podcast junkie, like me? What are you listening to? I’d love to add a few more to my list!

Merry, Bright


Oh hey there! It’s just me, lounging in front of my Christmas tree, taking selfies in my new sweater that I’ve literally worn, like five out of the last seven days. In my defense, I am officially a real, live blogger now and it’s a super cute sweater, so I couldn’t really help myself. I think it’s in the blogger code that you MUST take selfies in front of twinkle lights in cute new sweaters or they will expel you from the union.

In other news, you’re probably wondering why I’m just now saying I’m a real, live blogger since I’ve been doing this for over 10 years. Well, long story short, this is my job now. My entire job, not my part time job or my fun side project…it’s the real deal! Earlier this week Crazybananas, LLC became an actual company with a tax ID and everything! On January 1st, 2015, this blog, my photography and my freelance writing will be my profession. Try explaining that one! Seriously, try. And if you figure out how to do it without sounding like a derpy dope, let me know. So far most of my conversations have gone like this:

Me: I created a company this week! Ahhhh! I’m so excited/terrified!

Kind, Inquiring Person: Oh, cool! So what is this company? What do you do?

Me: Um, well, a lot of things actually. I’m a writer, I freelance write and I also photograph people sometimes and I design stuff. Oh and consulting! Companies come to me to learn about how to work with bloggers. And stuff. It’s pretty varied actually…

Kind, Inquring Person: *blink blink blink*

I feel like something extremely big and important is happening in my professional like, one of those “two paths diverged in a wood” moments, but I’m realizing you never understand those moments until you’re looking back on them. While you’re actually living them, all you can do is keep swimming and try to keep your head above water. So for now, I’m going to do my best to put one foot in front of the other, breathe, and do the best I can.

Thank you so much, so, so much, for all of the love, support, comments, shares and insights. I know I wouldn’t have kept blogging without readers to connect with, so you are the ones I’m grateful for today.

Of course, I’m also extremely thankful for my family who has supported me as I worked my way through this decision. It hasn’t been easy, but here we are, and I know they are behind me. Our life is far from perfect, but I really believe as long as we keep trying, it will keep getting better. So for the rest of December, I’m signing off. There are two little people who need me to take them ice skating, a giant puppy who needs to hop through the snow like a bunny, and a husband to snuggle up to. Leading up to this big change, I’ve been working on overload, and they’ve born the brunt of my crazy. I know that doing this thing will require a whole new type of work ethic, and while I’m excited and ready, I want to make sure I start with my family’s tank full to the brim. I also need my tank to be filled, and part of the reason I’ve worked toward this change for so long, is because I believe it’s the best way to do this. The family/work balance will forever be a tightrope walk for me, but I think this is one step closer to getting my feet firmly planted.

Can't. Stop. Baking. This is getting ridiculous. BUT! If you're like me and you're bad at housewifery-type stuff like baking, and you find a technique that works, you go bananas! ???? Plus, Tate was begging for trains/cars/planes for his bday party on

I hope you all have an amazing holiday! I challenge you to list out 10 things you are grateful for every night before you drift off to sleep. This simple practice has changed my life in every possible way. I have found when I’m looking for the good things in my life, no matter how small, the bad things have less oomph. They just don’t pack the punch they used to. So for today, I’m thankful for:

1. Tate’s successful birthday party
2. Little boys in superhero costumes in a pink, princess castle, bounce house (see #1)
3. Lucy getting through her first semester of third grade with no big problems or issues
4. Teachers who love and care for my kids
5. Other parents who love and care for my kids
6. The ability to help out others when they need it
7. My friend Mara who is currently loaning me the latest season of Doctor Who, which I’m watching while writing this (multi-tasking!)
8. The big, dumb dog snoozing at my feet
9. My husband’s distinguished, ginger beard
10. My fully completed holiday shopping, and the fact that I don’t have to go to the Mall until December 26th (thank freaking god!)

See you in a few weeks, friends! It’s gonna be a fun ride!

For the Love of Theodore Roosevelt


A year ago, through the magic of good friends and Facebook, we found this sweet puppy. For days we called him “Puppy” because no name sounded right. But Theodore Roosevelt Peters, Teddy for short, was the one that stuck. And yes, it’s a bit grandiose, for sure, but naming this dopey dog after the 26th President of the United States just made sense. I mean, Teddy Roosevelt was the man who coined the term “daring greatly” and since that has become my mantra, it was fitting that my partner in crime bear his name.

Yes, Teddy is my dog. Of course he loves the kids and Trent, and I’m sure they all think of him as theirs, but I’m the one who begged for him, did research on him, contacted friends to secure his adoption, filled out pages of paperwork, and attended a home visit with the rescue who had saved his life. I am the person who walks him, feeds him (although Lucy has taken over that duty as of late), buys him giant dog bones, sneaks him into the bed and let’s him sleep on the couch all day long. He follows me around, and when anyone is agitated, he runs to my side…not really to protect me or anything, more like to hide behind my legs. He’s a fierce beast, this Rottie puppy of mine.

Thanksgiving is a bit of an unlucky weekend for us regarding our dogs. Our first dog, Cali, ran off on Thanksgiving, was hit by a car and died. Our last dog, Miss Molly McGoo, died of old age after a long and happy life full of table scraps on the week of Thanksgiving. So on Thanksgiving morning I told Trent, “Nothing had better happen to that dumb dog.” Welp, you know what they say about Murphy’s Law, right? If it can happen, it will.

Teddy was run over by a John Deer Gator (sort of like a mini tractor, for you city folk) on Thanksgiving day, and I truly thought I was going to lose my mind. This dopey dog, however, was totally fine. Only Theodore Roosevelt could get run over by a John Deere and run off like nothing happened. We were afraid of a broken leg, or worse, but he came out with two small scrapes and that’s it. If anything, it worked out in his favor, as he’s been doted upon, fed Thanksgiving ham and snuggled pretty much constantly since the incident. I think the whole thing reminded us how integral he is in our lives these days. It’s incredible how a dog can work his way into your heart, until you can’t (and don’t want to) imagine your life or family without him in it, jumping on you as you walk through the door or wiping his slobbery snout on your leg.

Teddy is a big, dumb miracle. I’m so glad he’s our big, dumb miracle.




Dear Family,

Sorry I ate those two loaves of bread. In hindsight, that wasn’t a great decision. Sorry I puked all over after I inhaled said bread. My bad. Oh, and I feel horrible about chewing up Tate’s favorite train. And Lucy’s Totoro slippers. And eating that banana off the counter. That was dumb. I didn’t mean to pee on the floor that time. Or the other time. Or the time after that. I think you should probably invest in some heavy duty paper towels, you know? And while we’re talking, I should apologize for chewing on the back deck too. And dad’s chess set. And mom’s leopard print heels. And the carpet. I think those extra holes give it a little character, don’t you? It looks more “lived in” now.

I will happily pay my debt with some late night movie watching and feet warming. I will try not to puke on your bed. No promises.

All my love,
Theodore Roosevelt Peters

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