- I’m a gallery wall-a-holic. Is this okay? I have so many walls in this house and all I can think of putting on each of them is a speckling of frames and decor. I’ve been browsing pinterest left and right for home ideas. I have a ways to go to get this house settled in!
- I have been a busy worker bee planning a maskcara training event for my team. With help from my amazing gals, we pulled off a great event this weekend. Now I want to take a nice long nap!
- Auntie has been in town, which means I have an extra mom working alongside me at home. Gonna hate saying goodbye today!
- Major growls when he’s frustrated or wants something.. like my own real life wild animal (aka dream come true).
- After a long busy week and weekend, on Sunday we took a lazy day and when Major woke up from his nap, we all hopped in the car with some snacks and found ourselves exploring Zion National Park. We drove the winding roads up the mountain until we found snow, drove through the tunnels, and ended with family dinner at Oscars before we headed back home. I always say those last minute trips are the best memories. I love having FUN with my family and finding things we all enjoy!
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I am blogging from the mountain today.
Life (and rules) slow waaaaay down at the mountain.
Doing hair is an activity, not a means to something else.
The only question you’re asked is
Harlo likes hers with “mustard and ketchup on the side.”
Grae likes hers with “yellow ketchup” (mustard) only. (not confusing or anything)
Stella likes hers with “extra extra mustard, and a line of ketchup.”
I like my hot dog to be an organic chicken-dog, served with dijon mustard and coleslaw, thanks for asking.
See why we like it here so much?
Follow our #millermanormini adventures on instagram!
We Millers can’t stay still for too long. On our weekends home, we still like to come up with little adventures. Road tripping is our family’s favorite thing to do, so a few Saturdays ago, we took a little road trip up to Enterprise Utah to take in the beautiful changing of seasons in one of Utah’s most beautiful areas.
We stopped to pick up some corn from a road-side stand and then stopped again for a little nature journaling. We broke out into a little family shoot as the girls played and took pictures. They are getting more interested in my big camera and their little hands are now big enough to reach the buttons. This has been so fun for us to enjoy together. These pictures were mostly taken by my sweet big girls, and because of that, may be some of my favorites.
One of the girls snapped this pic of Mr. Miller and I think it might be my favorite photo of him ever taken. This is the man I love, adventuring with his family, mini van overflowing (literally) with children, happy eyes and full of love.
On labor day weekend, we packed up our borrowed trailer and our family of 6 for our first ever real camping trip.
Brady’s family (The Harris Family, Major’s namesake) come from all over the place – Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona to camp together for 3 days on arguably the most beautiful mountain in Utah, Pine Valley. Because we are lucky to have Pine Valley in our city’s backyard, in years past we have opted to sleep in our own beds and travel up for the day. But this year, for some reason, we felt a pull to stay up on the mountain. I’ll call it: divine suggestion.
We had not a lick of cell phone service, so we left our screens in the truck all weekend and enjoyed some serious old fashioned family togetherness. Nothing superb or extravagant came up over the weekend, but even still it felt like an incredible weekend. I really wanted to UNPLUG, and that also meant from carrying my phone around every second for pictures. So, I sacrificed a lot of photo-ops, but still feel sound about my decision. Here are some things I don’t want to forget about the Harris reunion 2016.
- No family makes you feel like you have birthed the royal bloodline like the Harris family. The great-aunts dote over the little ones like they are little kings and queens. I was glad to be nursing Major, because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen him all weekend. That son of mine knew just how to take in the attention. He smiled each time he was looked at, calmly went from person to person, and when he was tired, he would simply slump down on the shoulder of the person he was being carried. Angel boy!
- My girls were so busy crafting in the craft area, building forts in the woods, running around playing with cousins, hiking, climbing, and game-playing that I pretty much didn’t see them all weekend, but my goodness they had a blast. My heart swelled with each filthy pair of jeans I placed into the washer once we got home. Childhood at it’s finest, I tell you.
- Grae couldn’t wait to go to “the mountains” and she liked it just as much as she thought she would. She announced at least 200 times, “Mommy! I see the mountains!” throughout the weekend. She of course marched to her own little beat, and when she was tired she would say “mommy, you wrap me?” and I would sling her in my wrap (because Major clearly wasn’t going to be needing it with 100 extra arms around). She snoozed in that sling each day and I felt us connect in a way we hadn’t for a while. Tender mercies!
- Stella got a pocket fisherman for her birthday and was bound and determined to use it. A whole truck load of cousins went down to the lake, and about an hour later, they all walked home. Where is Stella and Brady? I asked. At the lake. Stella refused to come home until she caught her first fish, which she did! Made her whole trip!
- We slept terribly the first night, and I wanted to go home for the second night, but Mr. Miller urged me to consider staying another night. Usually, he would have given into me easily, but I knew he wanted to stay, so I dropped the matter. He switched me places on the second night and hopped up for each child’s need, in place of me doing it. We all slept soundly that next night and I was so glad we stayed. I felt extra grateful for a good man to love me, and a good father to raise my babies with.
On the drive home we talked about how amazing it is to have a family so large with zero animosity or negativity – at all. Each Harris loves and adores the next. And never for a second do I feel like an “in-law”. I wondered for a lot of the ride home how I ever lived without the Harris’s for the first twenty years of my life. I’m still not sure, but I’m so glad I’m part of their tribe now. I can only hope I will raise a posterity just as special. ♥
On August 3rd, my sweet, sunny, lively little Stella turned six years old!
Months and months ago (even before Christmas) Stella knew she wanted to spend her birthday at the American Girl store. She has become more obsessed with American Girls as the days have ticked by. We talked about how going to the American Girl store was a big deal, and very expensive. She then opted to forgo a birthday party, any other birthday presents, “don’t get me presents! Just send money that I can spend at the American Girl store!”, she told us.
Luckily, Stella’s birthday lands in the summer and working our summer travels around her birthday wasn’t too hard. We knew we wanted to get to Santa Monica at some point with the family this summer, so we hopped on board for the American Girl store birthday!
Stella researched every single detail of the American Girl store. She knows about all the girls, all the collections, each and every outfit and option. She knows which stores are where, and what they offer. In all her spare time, she spends it on the American Girl website or on various American Girl youtube channels. Stella is SERIOUS about American Girls, and I have to admit, as the days drew nearer I found myself getting butterflies of excitement as well. Both for her, and for the little girl in myself who would have LOVED an American Girl store visit at her age.
One thing I have to note is how easy it was to manage Stella’s expectations. I would tell her we probably wouldn’t have enough money for a certain thing, or discuss what our budget would be, and she was just as happy altering her plans to fit within that frame. She even planned out exactly what Harlo would do (bring my old American Girl doll to the store, so she wouldn’t be empty handed). She was just so gracious, so sweet, and so grateful for anything we would allow. I love that about Stella and never ever want to forget how sweet she was in planning this birthday.
We also had a lot of comments about Harlo before our trip. “Will that be hard for her not to get a doll too?” they’d ask, and other questions of the like. But I have to say that my girls do really well at celebrating each other. Harlo was so excited for Stella’s birthday, for her. I don’t think she complained one time about not being able to get a new doll, or this or that. We did give her a little summer allowance for helping so much during the summer that she spent on a sweet little outfit, and that was plenty. She was such a gracious big sister on this trip, and I know it made the day even that much more special for Stella getting to share it with Harlo. Man, I love these girls.
Needless to say, when the day finally came (we made sure to be there ON her birthday), we were all dying of anticipation and excitement! (Even Mr. Miller caught the American Girl fever!)
Shortly into our visit, Auntie showed up to surprise Stella at the American Girl store. I can’t tell you how precious Stella was for that surprise. She shrieked “Auntie!” and almost got a little emotional. Auntie and I both will never forget it.
We had so much fun at the American Doll store.. Stella made out pretty well with grandparents sending her with money so she was able to buy a doll, and a couple accessories as well as get “Bella’s” ears pierced.
I planned ahead a bit and scheduled a personal shopper for Stella (the store offers them for free!) and that was a really special touch. They took us back to a big pink room and let us set our stuff there and gave us a tour of the whole facility and told us a lot of interesting information. Stella ate it right up. It was just the amount of VIP status that girl can appreciate! ;)
After the American Girl store, we decided to head over to Santa Monica Pier to spend the rest of the day, which was even more fun to have Auntie tagging along with us for the day.
The girls opted not to ride any rides (Did you know I’m deathly afraid of farris wheels?), but Mr. Miller showed them around the arcade like the old pro he is. We had ice cream and took it all in.
After the pier, we spent the rest of the day shopping and eating on the 3rd street Promenade.
The kids were mesmerized by the street acts. For a Wednesday, I was so surprised and excited to see them out there. We watched and watched the different dancers and performers. Our favorite though was a magic show!
Mr. Miller and I came to Santa Monica on our babymoon in March, and we knew our girls would love it. It was SO fun for us to bring them along. I was so in love with Brady on that trip, carrying around our 4th baby in my big round belly.. and to enjoy the city with him again – this time with all four of our babes with us just seemed like a dream come true. I fought the happy tears back all day.
Stella’s birthday was everything we hoped it would be and so much more. She hasn’t stopped talking about it since. As we drove home that night she took a big sigh and said “Wow. Today was the best day ever.”
The week before school started, we loaded up our minivan for the umpteenth time to head on one last adventure of summer.
I have to admit I was dragging my feet about this trip because we had already been gone SOOO much of summer, and making another treturous drive through the hot dessert didn’t sound that appealing… but we had a birthday girl with big plans, and so I pressed on.
We ended up having such a great time. The babies did well on the car rides (thank heavens!), the big girls got along so well the whole trip. We stayed near Manhattan beach, which we hadn’t been to before, and traveled around different parts of LA while we were there. (We usually stay further south, so this was new and exciting for us!) We showed the girls Santa Monica, downtown LA, and did so many fun fun things. But on one certain morning, we headed out to grab some bagels and decided to stop by the beach. Half of us were suited for the hotel pool, and the other half was still in PJ’s of some sort (me, Grae and Maj), but we decided to walk across the sand and let the water tickle our toes anyway. It was probably my favorite moment of the trip.
In this moment, Brady looked at me like this and my stomach flipped. This is the life we have always wanted, that we created together. Our minivan full of our own children, experiencing and more importantly enjoying life together. That’s what these trips are all about for us. They are our love language as a family, and certainly in our marriage. I love all my little darlings cozied up at home, but something about changing our scenery sheds new light (in this case, beach-y sunlight) on all sorts of blessings that may had gone unnoticed otherwise. I love this season we’re in and I’m so proud we’re here.
I love this family of mine fiercely, and I hope they never ever forget it.
I have been thinking about this blog and what it’s all about these days. This blog has sort of evolved and changed with me as a person, and that’s one of my favorite things about it.
This blog unintentionally started telling our story, my story. It has grown with me, worked hard with me, and let me expressively write in a therapy that would change my life and awareness. In telling my story, I have been fortunate enough to have people write me and tell me their stories. Some people have shared the nicest things with me, they have shared their struggles with me, they have helped carry my burdens and prayed for me and my family, and I for theirs. A lot have become dear dear friends of mine. All of you reading along have kept me going all these years, sometimes through lack of creativity, direction, or writers block. You have kept on and pushed me to keep on – whatever that has meant for the season.
So I want you to know that. As I’ve been writing, you’ve been writing me, and this community has loved me so well. You have loved me through good times and bad, you have been the source of love when I needed it the very most. You have let me show you my realness, and you have loved me because of it. You really can’t know how much it has meant to me, and has aided me in my life.
I want this to be a place we can share together. I’m always thinking how much I wish more of you knew each other. You all have become a priority for me, and as I write my story, i want to check in more with the real stuff. With the sometimes messy stuff. And come into a place free of judgement. Because I know you guys are the best there is. The salt of the earth. Raising your babies, wishing for babies, or missing your babies right along with me.
I have turned my comment section back on after about a year absence. When I took them down, I hoped for a more personal connection with my readers, which I’ve gotten as you’ve contacted me personally – but now my hope has turned outward and I hope that by commenting and linking to yourself, or even just showing up in the comments, more of my readers will be blessed by YOUR sweet insight and engage in the comments as well. This isn’t just the Cass Miller Show (as much as that has a nice ring to it. ;) ) It’s OUR space, that we have created and shaped. And if you’ve been here for any amount of time, you have helped create this space.
Mostly I just want you to know that I hear you. And I appreciate you. Thank you.
You have blessed me on this writing journey, and we are going to journey on.
photos from our recent journey to the seven magic mountains.
This year Mr. Miller turned 32! For a few years, I have had an idea for a 32 oz themed party for my soda-loving lover. Also, rewind to his 30th birthday two years ago when our kitchen was stripped to the concrete, and our money was tied up in the remodel, so he did not get a proper 30th bash. That has kept me up some nights. A celebration-less birthday is not the kind of wife I am. ;)
This year I redeemed myself by throwing the most awesomely easy party ever. A 32 oz splash bash! I rented a local soda truck that pulled into my backyard, and there we drank and visited some of our favorite friends all evening long. The Soda Pop Stop was so great to work with. They even let me make my own little Mr. Miller-themed menu. It was fantastic! Our best Miller Manor party to date, I think. Now I just can’t wait to turn 32 myself. ;)
After the party, we headed over to Springdale. It’s our favorite little getaway. This time we stayed at the Desert Pearl Inn and had the best time. Seriously – probably the most fun we had all summer (and we had a ton of fun this summer). We got a riverside room that walked out right down to the river, and the pool was around the other side of our room. On Brady’s actual birthday, my dad and the Houstons came over to help us celebrate. We had Oscar’s by the pool, and ate delicious dirt cups (Mr. Miller’s favorite dessert) on our back patio.
We headed home Monday morning with the fullest of hearts. So happy to be celebrating the man I love turning another year older with our four children. This is the life I always dreamed of having, and I’m so glad I can do it along side my Mr. Miller.
I hope you had the most amazing birthday, my darling. You so deserve it.
Last week, I took my family up to see my 94-year-old grandpa. Grae and Major met him for the first time. I got to visit with my sweet cousin and aunt we don’t see often on Grandpa’s porch. We chatted about motherhood, and life, and homebirth and my heart was filled right up!
I loved placing Major in his great-grandfather’s arms. Grandpa complimented his name and told me how handsome my guy was. Nearly a century between the two men.
My dad is my grandpa’s 4th child, I am my dad’s 4th child, and Major is my 4th child. Four generations of Jorgensen genes right here.
My sweet cousin Sarah is my kindred spirit. I’m so glad to be walking this mama life with her. She lives in Texas, so it was so so good to squeeze her in person and chat for a few hours! She’s also one of my favorite insta accounts to follow for mom inspo.. check her out! @timeourjoy
Mostly this day just grounded me. So sweet to visit my dad’s childhood home with my children, get a sense of what his life was like, and to see the legacy my Grandpa helped create. If it’s been a while since you’ve got in touch with your roots, I recommend it. Filled my soul to the tippy top!
My friend Emily said it best when she told me “The more kids we have, the more we feel the need to get away together.” I loved that, and feel the exact same way.
When adventure knocks on our door, we Millers try to never turn away. When adventure doesn’t knock, we go out and look for it. Just after our trip to California, we decided to head to Salt Lake. One of the reasons we love where we live is that we are pretty close to everything, 6 hours to the beach, 4 hours to Salt Lake, a couple of hours from Vegas, a couple from the mountains. It makes our wanderlusting very easy to achieve. And to be honest – we love road trips. I have learned this about myself over the years – I love the simpler things in life, and road tripping with my family just gets me right in the happy.
We have a summer bucket list going and we are trying to get everything knocked out before school starts. The girls wanted to stay in a hotel at some point over the summer, and we decided this would be the time. We usually visit family on our travels, so this was a special treat for the girls. We stuffed our family of 6 into that hotel room (still pinching myself these are all my kids!) for the weekend and had a blast. Farmers markets, shopping, pampering, park city, cousin time.. We enjoyed every last drop.
We stopped at the Beaver cheese factory on our way up and had ice cream on the lawn. This was one of my favorite moments of the trip, and just now as I’m posting these, Stella said “Oh mom, that place was my favorite! Can we go there again soon?” If that isn’t a good reminder to stop and smell the roses more often, I don’t know what is. ;)
I finally got to enjoy some Ruby Snap cookies! My goodness they were delicious! The lemon blueberry had to be my favorite.
We adventured our way through Ikea to finalize our bathroom remodel plans and get some creative juices flowing.
Stella thinks she needs a sewing room now… and a sewing machine to start. ;)
On our way home, we drove through Provo and stopped at the new temple. My goodness, it is so beautiful and quaint. It has the neatest energy around the temple grounds. We loved every bit of it.
Summers with a minivan full of my own family will go down as my favorite favorite season of life. I know good seasons are to come when this one ends, but I’ll hold this one close to my heart forever and ever and ever.
In June, Mr. Miller and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. We didn’t have much going on that week, and didn’t have big plans for the special day. So last minute (my favorite minute), I packed up the whoooole family in one day and arranged a little vacation for us. I called Brady’s work and made sure his schedule was taken care of and our anniversary night, surprised him. He was shocked at first, but quickly got excited. I pulled it off! We left early the next morning!
Our wedding anniversary always feels more like a birthday for our family, so it made sense to celebrate all together. Each baby, we take a little trip to welcome them into the family, and this was Major’s. It was such a sweet way to settle in together as a family of 6. He was a perfect angel the whole trip. We had so much fun.
We had friends in Oceanside the same time as us, so we hung out with them on the beach and just had the best time. It was 5 days of doing whatever the heck we wanted – my favorite kind! We hung with our best friends, we played with Auntie and Pat, we had a free day for me to help decorate my sister’s cute beach condo… On father’s day, we watched the NBA finals, ordered pizza, and snagged the sunset on the beach. It was perfect.
Our trip was not short of a few hiccups – a 24 hour stomach bug went through each girl – but even with that craziness, we shifted and adjusted as needed and it made me realize that we are really doing it. We are surviving – even thriving – with our very full family. I’m so glad we still do these things, even though it’s more work. It is more work, but it’s also so much more fun. It’s worth it in every way.
Mr. Miller, thank you for being mine. Thank you for enjoying our children right along side me. Thank you for loving me always always. You are hands down, without a doubt, the best thing that happened to me. I will never forget it.
I have had a full load of work the last couple weeks. My list of things to blog about is growing at a rapid rate and I hope someday soon I can get posting on the regular again!
For right now, I am enjoying this season full of love, adventures, giggles, snuggles, late nights, early mornings, porch-sitting, baby rocking, husband-dating and so much more.
I am doing my best documenting through instagram until I have more time here.
Major’s birth story is just about ready to post, and lots of other goods are coming to the blog… as soon as I get this time thing figured out. ;)
Last weekend we went to Mr. Miller’s family cabin. It was just our little full family this trip. It was a needed adventure. We Millers get wiggly when we sit still for too long and crave adventure every now and again.
On our way home, even though we were treading into dangerous nap time territory, we stopped at a park we were both raised going to and that held a string of memories for both of us. I always dream of taking my girls here and have known they would love it as much as I did. We swung on the swings and looked at the mountains and flowers growing. I told the girls stories of me and Auntie and how she had taught me how to pump my legs on these very swings at a family reunion one time.
We spotted a caterpillar which Stella promptly asked if she could catch. She is so much like me when I was little. I excitedly nodded to her and soon she had it a home made and named “her” Catty. I enjoyed seeing my girls enjoy the most simple things in childhood, just exactly the same as I had not-so-many years ago. When it was time to go, Stella begged me for 5 more minutes and told me she didn’t want to leave Catty, as if it were going to break her heart. She is so much like me when I was little.
My love felt rich on the drive home. Somehow, time has slipped by full of trials and triumph and has brought me here to this life with four little children who call me mama, and a husband I rely on to love me through it all. Sometimes this reality sneaks up on me and takes my breath away. The life I’ve always dreamed of having, I’m living now.
We had such a wonderful time on our little lovers getaway to Santa Monica last weekend. We stayed in the lovely Shangri-La hotel, which was the perfect location. We didn’t need to rent a car or anything, we just strolled around third street promenade a street over from our hotel where EVERYTHING was located. We shopped at the best stores, ate the most delicious food, soaked up the pool time, napped everyday with open windows and the ocean breeze blowing in. It was absolutely heavenly.
It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but I just loved spending some alone time with that Mr. Miller of mine. We have so much fun together and I love that. I loved waking up and walking to brunch (Mr. Miller’s favorite type of meal), I loved how he delights in me getting excited about strolling through anthropologie, I love how he let me take naps everyday and didn’t make me feel guilty about it, I love that he picked our hotel because it reminded him of me. When we called to talk to the girls the first day, they asked about where we were staying. Brady said “You would love our hotel – it’s fancy like mom.” I realized that my outfit for the day matched perfectly with the decor. Ha! I love that Mr. Miller loves my fanciness. I love that he insisted we get room service because I had never done it before. :)
I got pretty homesick for our babies. I think 4 days (3 nights) away is my limit. The girls did so well though! Grae surprised us all by napping perfectly and being a good girl the whole time we were gone. Stella was the least concerned about when we were coming home. Harlo texted me from her ipad quite a bit and missed me, which was surprising! The night before we were headed home I texted her and said “I’ll see you tomorrow!” and she said “Okay! I’m ready!”
We just had a great time. Nine years later and he is still my favorite person to hang out with. Whether we are out adventuring, or lounging around doing nothing. I love that Mr. Miller of mine and I’m so glad he loves me right back.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway, try Santa Monica. It really was SO much fun.
Mr. Miller and I both come from a rich pioneer heritage. I never really understood or appreciated this when I was growing up, but my goodness I am thankful for my ancestors today. They traveled miles and miles, risking their lives and families to build a community in a beautiful land where they could have religious freedom. This is a purpose I hold so close to my heart, and I’m so grateful to be living the life they fought so hard for me to live. The mormon pioneers are some of the toughest people you’ll ever hear of. Their blood runs through my veins and through the veins of my children. We come from tough pioneer stock on both sides. I hope to teach my kids to appreciate this much sooner than I ever did.
We celebrate this day, Pioneer Day, big in Utah and even though we had JUST made it home from our week at the beach, we couldn’t resist the urge to celebrate in our favorite little place in Utah, up at the Miller Cabin. The Miller’s cabin is tucked away in the finest corner on top of Cedar Mountain. There are trees, valleys, and beauty every place you lay your eyes. It is quiet with basically no cell service. It is a serious slice of Heaven. Mr. Miller spent nearly every weekend of his life up on this Mountain, and during his childhood his family built the cabin themselves. My in-laws (who are the most wonderful in-laws) still spend nearly every weekend there, and I admire that about them very much. My father-in-law, Charlie (who I am just realizing I don’t talk about enough on this blog), has been traveling to this mountain since he was a little one and knows every single trail, every animal, everything about this beautiful country.
The first time Brady took me to the Mountain, we had been dating a few months and I truly fell hard for him on that trip. I imagined our life together, bringing our own children up there for quiet weekends, walking the trails and pushing them in the swings. Mr. Miller can impress me at the cabin the way he can’t anywhere else. By working hard on physical projects, driving four-wheelers, fixing things, and taking me for rides without ever getting lost. He is such a burly man when we’re at the cabin and even thinking of it gives me butterflies. I love hearing stories about this beautiful mountain and look forward to keeping it in our family for generations. I also feel especially grateful that our children have it to grow up with quiet weekends, walking the trails, and swinging in the swings – just like I had dreamed.
We went for a ride one day, and even though it was bright noon-day sun, we had to stop and admire the beauty of the mountain. These pictures have flaws, but I will hold them close to my heart forever.
Until next time!